April 3, 2012

Did You Know? Paying it Forward

Do you know how incredible "paying it forward" is?

Everyone knows what this is, right? It's the concept that when someone does something nice for you, you "pay it forward" by doing something nice for someone else.

It looks like this:

Paying it forward can mean many different things. It can be big or small, grand or subtle. We don't all have to be Oprah or Bill Gates to do good.

Something as simple as paying the toll for the person in the car behind you can start a chain reaction of kind acts. The person you paid for may go on later in the day to pay for someone else's mocha. The person who got the free mocha may let the person behind them in line at the grocery store who has only 1 item go ahead of them and their full cart. The person who got to cut in line may decide to help their elderly neighbor pull their garbage can to the curb. And so on and so forth.

What has inspired me to write about paying it forward is what I saw transpire during my husband's recent health crisis. He and I needed help, both logistically and emotionally, and sometimes at very inopportune times. My closest friends were there for me at the first phone call. Their husbands helped them to help me. When their husbands couldn't, other friends stepped up to support my close friends as they supported me.

When Mark's parents decided to come, they needed support from friends and neighbors at home, to drive them to the airport, take care of their pets, get their mail, etc. A good friend of my dad's stopped by and pushed to find out how he was doing because my dad has had a heart attack and his friend was worried about the stress.

Mark is the kind of guy who can make friends with anyone, and he wants everyone to be happy. He has wormed his way into the hearts of his co-workers who decided to pitch in to provide our family with needed food and household items. I suspect they needed support from their loved ones in order to take the time, energy and money to do this.

While spending time at the hospital, I watched as friends and family members were always polite and courteous enough to ask others if they wanted anything when they made a trip to the cafeteria. I cannot count how many times I was asked, "Do you need anything?".



Everyone around me has been paying it forward....and back and forth. It is an amazing and inspiring thing to see! I can only hope that I will be able to pay it forward somehow too. I have a little, by sharing the homemade food and watching a friend's kids. But that's not nearly enough.

Did you know that paying it forward with kindness can make someone's day, and make YOU feel good too? And, that it can have a ripple effect that stretches far beyond just you?


G'head, write up a Did You Know? post, grab the button and link it up with me and motherhood: TRUTH today through Friday!





22 comments:

  1. You and Mark have no debt with your friends or family, dear. Your account with us is flush. You will hear this many times today, and it is genuine.

    Love,
    Dad

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  2. Hugs to you! Hugs to Mark and the kids! A great big thanks to everyone who was able to step up and offer whatever support was needed.
    Jenn

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    1. You are sweet to say thanks on my behalf, Jenn. :-)

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  3. You are Mark are such inspirations to me. (-:
    You know it's funny you had this post today - I woke up this morning and decided that no matter what I'd smile at everyone and really really be nice. I had a mammogram and last time I was in there because I was scared, I was a bit of a b-word. This time totally different. Everybody smiled and was nice - way out of their way. I helped a woman in a wheelchair - she nearly cried! another one with her cane when it fell, I let another person ahead of me in line and they remarked how beautiful my sweater was - and now I have your little stick figure image in my mind, paying it forward. Much better to be happy and nice that b-wordy and grumbling, because that gets paid forward too...

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  4. Paying it forward can make a huge difference. It is more powerful than most people realize. I am so glad that you and your husband had so much support during an intensely frightening time.

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    1. I don't have the words to express how I feel about being loved so well. I keep writing these posts....but I just don't think I'm doing it justice.

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  5. My favorite thing I do every day is give at least one compliment to one stranger a day. It is so totally fun. I'm so glad that you and Mark had support when you needed it <3

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    1. And unexpected compliment can literally make a person's day!

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  6. I saw this too when my dad was so critically ill. My mom's friends rallied around her- everything from taking care of her pets to her mail to her house. I left to be with them immediately which meant that my friends had to step in to help fill the gaps with my own family. It's amazing and uplifting to see how much of a difference you can make in someone's life with just a small act of kindness. Fabulous post!

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    1. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

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  7. Have you head of Shine Project and http://spreadtheshine.com/? I think you would really like the idea. Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day!

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  8. I love this post - Leo Buscaglia is one of my all time favorites! It's awesome that you have such a great line of support

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  9. I have always liked the concept of paying it forward. It seems like the way we can all regardless of religious affiliations or ideas help each other out. I am glad to hear that you have the support you do. Nice job, Erin

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  10. I'm glad your friends and family were there for you - it makes a horrible situation a tiny bit more manageable.

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  11. This is such a beautiful post and a great reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. I'm SO glad about all the good news and your husband being much better. Through all your updates, I was always glad to hear you were surrounded by such an awesome support system. You continue to inspire me, thank you for this great post!

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  12. Love this post. A little does go a long way. I remember watching movie titled Pay it forward years ago and it really changed my mind about how much one can do! Glad you had so many to your aid, I know when tables turn you will be in the front line!

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  13. I am so glad you were surrounded by so much love during such a scary, difficult time. And I SO SO glad that Mark is home!!! I love the concept of Pay It Forward. Have you seen the movie?

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