Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paying it Forward


“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” ~Aesop

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I were having lunch at IHOP on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Beside us, a mother was eating with her four children. They looked so happy and full of life. In my conversation with my friend, I made the remark that if I am ever “well-to-do”, that I would pick one family and pay for their meal anonymously every time I went out to eat. I have just always loved the idea of doing something like that.
So, on this beautiful Sunday, my friend and I thought why wait until we are well-to-do? Why not start today? So we both looked over at the mother and her four children and thought the same thing. We flagged their waitress down and informed her that we would like to pay for their meal anonymously. The anonymous part was important to us, because we did not want thanks, for that would almost defeat the purpose. We simply viewed it as a good deed and felt that they would “pay it forward’ someday.  

We left the restaurant feeling inspired and on top of the world. So my friend and I made this vow: Each and every day, we are doing a small, random act of kindness for a complete stranger. Whether it’s paying for the car behind us in a drive-thru, helping someone put groceries in their car, or even just opening doors or holding the elevator for people.

Ponder this for a second: if each person on earth did one random act of kindness each day for a stranger, what would the world be like?

38 comments:

  1. That's awesome!!! I wish I was that family! ;)
    I want to do something like that. That's awesome.

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  2. ...'what a wonderful world this would be'. Thank-you for inspiring...h-m-m, now let me think of who I could help:)

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  3. Random acts of kindness are the absolute best! I vowed to do the same this holiday season and help anyone in need :)

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  4. This post was exactly what I needed after a horrendous couple of weeks. Thank you for reminding me that kind, selfless people still exist in the world.

    Lauren
    alittlelessoflauren.blogspot.com

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  5. Bravo, to you and your friend! To answer your question, I think the result might be similar to what happened to me a few years ago, when I decided to carry a camera everywhere I go. It trained my thinking. I started looking for beauty everywhere . . .and finding it everywhere! If each person vowed to do one act of kindness each day, we'd be a kinder people as a whole.

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  6. This is so inspiring, Keith! Thanks for sharing. I'm totally going to do this the next time I'm out for brekkie. Super idea...

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  7. WOW. this was powerful and good to read! Thanks for the message and reminder!
    I love that feeling that always comes when I serve others -- reading this makes me recall strong and elated emotions that I've felt so many times before as well. Thank you so much for setting that example for all of us!

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  8. I LOVE THIS! :D You often remind me of my best friend growing up and this is one of those times. He loved to do stuff like that. When ever he stopped for icecream he bought extras and told the cashieer to make someone's day with them. I love to do things like this too, but get busy with life and sometimes get out of practice. I love to be reminded. Honestly, it makes life that much more enjoyable and I love that good feeling from such acts. There is a book I love called The 17 Second Miracle. It's great to read around Christmas time and I think you would love it. I'm going to try to get some friends to read it with me next month then discuss it for book talk (a local club - unless they already have a book chosen). I think you would love it! :)
    Have an awesome day and thanks again for the inspiration!
    Corine :D

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  9. After months of news full of political antagonisms and societal disparity, this is a relief, a breath of fresh air. My thanks and compliments.

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  10. The other day at work, I bought my coworker a latte from Dairy Queen after I overheard her say that she was craving one. She tried desperately to pay me back but I just told her to pay it forward. She almost started crying and when I asked her why, she said that she wasn't used to being treated that way. It definitely made me feel great--especially because I know she's just the kind of person who WILL pay it forward.

    Thanks for being a great influence! This is a great, inspiring post. As usual :)

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  11. You have much love and kindness in your heart. It is refreshing to know that you are paying it forward and not sitting around being selfish. Thank you for your daily deeds of goodness. They do not go unrecognized.

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  12. I love that idea! Those little acts of kindness can really add to someone's day. Even the little things, like you mentioned, paying for someone behind you in the drive-thru or opening a door for someone. When I was walking into work today I was juggling my bag and another bag filled with bagels and cream cheese for treat day. There's a guy on my floor who I recognize because we both tend to be one of the first people on the floor in the morning, but I don't know him. When he saw me coming in with all that stuff, he opened two doors for me, which I totally appreciated and it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Little things make a difference! :)

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  13. What a great post and a fabulous idea! It's great to adopt an attitide that strangers are not strangers but fellow human beings - and potential friends... :) If everyone introduced a little more kindness and empathy into their lives then this world would be a far more magical place.

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  14. I think this is a GREAT idea. Ambitious, but wonderful. I had a pin held to my attempt at kindness today. I have a friend whose roof literally fell in during the storm last week. Even before the storm hit I'd been trying so hard to find funding to get it repaired. Today our one great hope said they could not help after all. Sigh . . .

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  15. To ponder this question: If each person on earth did one random act of kindness each day for a stranger, what would the world be like?

    Well for me, my immediate response was more people would be considerate on the subway. For instance, someone by the door of the subway train this morning would have gotten off and let the poor woman on who was frantically late to work on the train, however, the subway was packed and no one could move and the lady couldnt fit on the train. That's my NYC answer :)

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  16. Very inspiring post. It makes me want to do more kind things for strangers. I like how you look at the world!

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  17. Nice post, Keith. The world would definitely be a better place with more kindness in it, not just between strangers, but with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or people we interact with. As Ghandi said, "be the change you want to see in the world." Have a nice weekend! :)

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  18. I like it.

    I did it once, paid for someone's parking ticket, slipping some money in the little envelope it came in. Made me feel good. I don't know why I don't do stuff like that more often.

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  19. Love this. It kind of reminds me of the Virgina Tech bracelet program I had to write about after the Chardon shooting. All the students were given bracelets and asked to do something completely selfless, kind and random and then to pass it forward. Or if someone did something for them, they got their bracelet.Suffice it to say, there are 40,000 bracelets all over the world now ;-) The proof of it's power is undeniable. Awesome post Keith. I like the anonymity as well.

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  20. Awwwwww! This is so sweet and kind, I wish more people did things like this. The Mum and her kids must've been so happy when they found their food had been paid for. What a lovely thing to do. Thank you too, I do love autumn or fall as they say :D xxx

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  21. I read this saying " Kindness is the only thing you can't give away. It always comes back to you "

    These small acts have great power, even smiling at a stanger on the street improves the day. Also the giver receives as much as the receiver.
    Great stuff Keith.

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  22. That is FANTASTIC! What a great idea.

    Thank you very much for stopping by my blog. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  23. Thank you. This is beautiful.

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  24. wow, that's a great idea. i read an newspaper article once about a man that payed for the person behind him in a drive-thru and the next 18 people or something did the same thing. the world needs more of these people, i'm definitely going to try to do things like that!
    and thank you for the lovely comment btw, would you like to follow each other? xx

    coffeebooksandcitylights.blogspot.com/
    facebook.com/rocknrolllies

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  25. nice post. long time ago, i was out eating with my girlfriend and some stranger couple paid our dinner, the waiter told us because we reminded them of themselves. how they were in former times.

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  26. you are extremely kind, perhaps the kindest person i've known!!

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  27. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love this post- Everyone should be this kind & giving, I think it's amazing :D

    http://mylifebeingrenewed.blogspot.com/

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  28. Keith,

    Thanks for the inspiration. You must have felt good, connecting with that family in such a kind, personal and financial way.

    You literally illustrate that it is better to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

    Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

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  29. I love, love, love this and as a mother with 4 young children of her own, it makes me smile to know how much this act blessed her.

    Let's not forget that it doesn't have to be grand though. When mine were babies, or I was pregnant, I was always blessed by people who would hold the door so I could push the stroller through, who helped me empty my cart ingredients onto the belt at the grocery store. Little things like that moved me to tears some days.

    Great motivation during the upcoming holiday season!

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  30. Love, Pay It Forward! I've always thought about it the same way at first; waiting until I'm well off. Next time I think about it I'm just going to do it! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

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  31. It would change the world. And I think the world needs a little changing - or a lot.

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  32. Beautiful idea! :o)

    Just one question: doesn't everyone hold the doors open for people??? It's so rare here for someone NOT to do that it would surprise me more than someone doing it. Ditto elevators.

    Kindess does a lot to shape our impression of the world. I remember my first impression of Belgium when I moved there (study abroad year, which turned into 8 years!) was "how nice people are here" because a couple of random strangers helped me manage my suitcase with the stairs in the metro and train stations! 8 years of bad weather couldn't erase that positive first impression. :o)

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