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Pass it forward?

What does that mean to you? Anything? I think that for those of us to take simple kindness seriously,
this is not a new concept. {or, it shouldn't be anyway} But, it is easy to see that previously,
people just never really considered the ways that they could go about showing kindness towards
someone else. It could be, simply because they are shy, or maybe they are afraid of offending
someone, or hurting the feelings of a complete stranger....I can understand this.
But here is my take on the whole concept- maybe you will feel better about kindness when I'm done.

First, I think the concept of paying it forward is so wonderful for a number of reasons:

1) It makes you really look at others.  Instead of the usual “What’s in it for me?”, you begin
to think to yourself “How can I create a little happiness for someone?” or “Is there something that
I can do let someone know, with no strings attached, that kindness is still present in others?”

2) It’s centered around giving rather than taking.  Taking is a good thing. It makes people
feel good. You should never deprive someone else of this wonderful feeling. But giving- the ability
to give, especially of oneself is a special gift.

3) It fills your soul with happiness.  Doing something nice for a perfect stranger can
generate an unmatched feeling of pure joy.  As well, being on the receiving end.
Isn't it nice to know that someone really cares? Of course it is.
We all could use a little unexpected act of kindness once in a while.
I certainly welcome it.

I have learned from years of experience that when you commit an act of kindness
for others, for strangers, it’s only a matter of time before that kindness comes back to us.
Being kind is a gift that gives to both the giver and the receiver.  Some people would refer to this as
simply "Karma" Others will say "What comes around goes around" and I will tell you that they are all
accurate. We really do reap what we sow. Of course we do. And we all know this. Inside. I know
lots of people who are simply kind in all that they do. Others, can be when the need arises. And I
really do believe that each of us has what it takes to be the kind of person we would like to see in
everyone. I have had complete strangers come to my door and ask me for help. One time, someone
ran out of gas in front of my home. My husband got out our gas can, put what we had in their car,
and then we followed them to the gas station to make sure they made it. Easy. People do things like
this everyday because deep down, this is really who we are. I believe I could ask a complete stranger
to help me and they would. Why? Because this is really who we are. Really. Good news isn't it?

Now, for the fun. Taking this one step further. Lets just say you want to do some random acts of
kindness. For no other reason than you feel like it. You want to help others. Lets say you just
turned 30, and for your birthday, you want to do 30 random acts of kindness. The question then
becomes "What can I do"? well, your in luck. I scoured several sites for some ideas, and here are
some pretty good ones that I have found....

Ways you can pass it or pack a meal for a homeless person, compliment a stranger, Pay for the person behind me in a fast food line, give blood, Bring a pile of old magazines to a nursing home or hospital, loan something to someone and forget about it, offer to babysit for a single mother, give someone the benefit of the doubt, inspire someone to be the best that they can be, Bring a meal to a neighbor or friend when they are sick, Take unused clothing and household items to a shelter or Goodwill, give up your seat on a crowded bus or train or ferry, Tape the exact change for a soda or snack to a vending machine, Pay for the person behind me at a toll booth, spend some time with a senior citizen living alone, Hand write and mail a note to a friend or relative, offer sincere, kind words to someone who’s hurting, smile at strangers, teach a child something you wish you knew at that age, Return an extra shopping cart to the front of the store, Call a family member or friend on the day of a test or other important event and tell them I'm thinking of them, Leave a couple pieces of candy on a coworkers desk with a note, let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store, praise generously, compliment a stranger, Make a donation, Be nice to the customer service people who are trying to help you with your technological difficulties, Buy house warming gifts for new neighbors {Better yet, a notebook filled with important info} Replace what you’ve used.  For example, fill up the copier or printer with paper after you’re done using it or start a fresh batch of coffee, Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand, Shop at your local charity thrift store.  The money you spend there helps others, Pay for the person in line behind you, Donate your old eyeglasses to the many programs who need them, Redirect gifts.  Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause, The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or in need of assistance, stop and ask how you can help, Create a care package for someone who needs one-don't know anyone? send it to a soldier, Help the shopper in front of you who needs that extra two or three cents to avoid breaking a 20-dollar bill, Be a courteous driver.  Let people merge in front of you, Hug a friend and let them know just how important they are, Bake cookies or brownies and share with a neighbor or colleagues, Done with a good book? Leave it somewhere for someone else to enjoy, Clean up litter in a park or open space nearby, Leave encouraging post-it notes in library books and other random places, If you see a couple taking a self-pic, offer to take the picture for them, Donate cat and dog food to an animal shelter- Call and ask what is needed, If there’s been an accident or a potentially hazardous situation presents itself on the road, report it to the local authorities- Your phone call could save a life, Stand up for someone.  Lend your voice. Often the powerless, the homeless, the neglected in our world need someone to speak up for them, When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward, Give your money to the poor when they ask you for help, Donate your hair to make a wig, Volunteer at the soup kitchen, animal shelter or senior's home, Plant a tree- or a garden for everyone, Forgive some who might have wronged you in the past-then, go out of your way to do them a favor, Search out someone who may need some real financial assistance. Maybe someone had their lights turned off because they could not pay the bill- you could be the light that they need, If you provide services for living, give your services pro bono, Walk someone's dog, Shovel someone's walkway, Mow someones grass and pull weeds, Clean someone's house, Offer a ride to someone who no longer drives,  Rake someone's leaves, Leave a huge tips when you go out to dinner, Give a lottery ticket to a stranger, Buy the movie tickets for the person behind you, Cook a nice meal for a friend, Help a homeless person find a home, Give a helping hand when you see someone carrying a lot of stuff, Purchase a couple of umbrellas, blankets, ponchos at a dollar store and keep it in your trunk – when it’s a rainy/cold day, find a person who needs it and give them one, Leave anonymous thank you notes, Drop off a toy or game at a homeless shelter, Pay for someone’s meal behind you at a fast-food drive-thru, Send a card to someone in the military overseas, Take flowers to a hospital ward and give them to someone who hasn’t had any visitors, Drop off a teddy bear to police department to give to traumatized children, Drop a few coins in an area where children play, where they can easily find them, Write letters of appreciation to groups who are helping the community, the environment, etc, Wave back to children who wave at you, Remove debris or other obstacles from a road or path, Drop all your change in a jar all year, cash it in at end of year, pick a needy family--ring the doorbell and RUN! Leave money by front door,

pay it forward
pass it on if you can. . . . 
Anonymous Money Jar Christmas Tradition-- whole family puts change in mason jars all year, cashes it in at end of year, picks a needy family--ring doorbell & run. Leave money by front door.

If you let the simple phase “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” lead your decisions you should be set. Well, that and going a little above and beyond when you are able. That is what really delivers the wow and can spread the pay it forward mentality. Just that little extra.


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