I’m in the checkout line buying just a few small items. When the total on the register
says $2.03, I do the obligatory pocket checking to make sure my pants did not miraculously begin to produce currency. After the search turns up fruitless, I give the cashier $3 with an expression that must have said; “crap”. The cashier immediately slides one of the dollars back smiles slightly and understatedly says “I got you.” Just like that, this guy bought my happiness and provided a tailwind for $.03! I walked out of the store feeling the warmth of human connection and determined to pass it along.
This “I got you” gesture is symbolic for any small act of kindness. It might be communicated through a knowing nod by the driver next to you at a stoplight after you perform that apologetic little sliding hand gesture to signify that you need to cut in front of them because you are in the wrong lane. Or it could be giving an accepting understanding smile to an exasperated parent with a misbehaving child to let them know “We’ve all been there; I got you.”
“I got you” is a way of saying “we are all in this together.” It’s cheap, it’s easy, provides a nice Tailwind, and is almost always paid forward.