Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paying it Forward

Living in a city presents a lot of strange encounters with people. Because I'm from a small island where everything seems "normal," I can't help walking around my current home thinking, "People do the darndest things!" Take for example, an old man who gave me a dollar for offering to help him cross the street (I promise you I refused the dollar until he got upset and shoved it into my palm!). Or, consider the gentleman from an eastern European grocery store who crossed the street to hand me an orange while I waited at the bus stop. Because I didn't want to offend, I eventually conceded and accepted each of their offers, but I couldn't help feeling like I didn't deserve the dollar or the orange. While their gestures were sweet and kind-hearted, I didn't need either of their gifts. So, I ended up giving both gifts to homeless persons who needed them more than I did. I figured, "Why not pay it forward?"

So today I challenge you to pay it forward to someone else who needs it more than you do:
We all receive gifts and random acts of kindness that we don't deserve. Whether it's an unclaimed dollar we find on the floor of the bus or if it's an extra muffin from the bakery you visit every morning, try to find someone who would benefit from it more than you would.

"Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. "
Nicholas Berdyaev


Carla said...
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Carla said...

I could not agree more! For example, I asked a friend to take me to the airport and on the way I place some gas money in the pocket of his door, when I arrived to the airport I told him and he was most upset ( I realize that this is instilled within me from my grandmother). 'Carla you know better than that!' of course I just ignored it. Well a week later doing a group ritual with my friends we went out to eat, and low and behold they would not let me pay for the bill and the next thing I saw was a 20 bill on the table (the same one I previously gave). Despite how trivial this may have seem, I could not help but remember my grandmother's constant quote of a scripture; 'cast you bread on the waters and in many days it shall return to you'.