I always like to say the best way to start a day is with a prayer and a smile — and if you’re married, throw a kiss into that triumvirate as well! And after my semi-routine trip to Dunkin’ Donuts for my morning coffee today — because I, like America, run on Dunkin’ — I left the drive-thru lane feeling very good about the day that was ahead.

When I pulled up to the window, cash in hand, extended toward the cashier, I was pleasantly surprised to hear her tell me that my coffee was paid for by the customer just before me.

I couldn’t believe it! I had read many times before, and heard through the grapevine, of instances where customers in a drive-thru “pay it forward” to other customers after them, but I had never been a part of that process before.

Clearly flattered not by having my coffee paid but by the generosity and act of consideration from others, I instinctively paid for the next car after me, unsure how long the chain had been going before me and how long it had lasted after I had driven away.

One thought that occurred to me while sipping my — somehow — better-tasting coffee this morning was: why did I wait so long after hearing about the pay it forward drive thru, hoping that I would randomly slip into the middle of one someday? Why not be the person that actually starts the chain every now and then?

Food for thought on a future morning coffee run.