Paying it Forward

A short while ago a friend of mine reminded me that it was national “pay it forward day.” Although there are a large number of people who know what this means, there are a much larger number that have no idea what this means. What exactly is “pay it forward day?”

Let me see if I can explain it: to be short, it consists of random acts of kindness. This kindness needs to be done with no expectations, freely, and from the heart. Just to give you an example; you’re in traffic and you notice someone is trying to make a turn or trying to enter the flow of traffic. As you approach that person you slow down and flash your lights allowing that person to continue on their journey. That is a small example of a random act of kindness. That simple act didn’t take much effort, but the impact is what counts; you just made a positive difference in that person’s life and whether you realize it or not your life was also enhanced. I use this example because driving on Cape Cod in the summer can be quite exhausting; by exercising a little kindness, we all win.

A number of years ago I received a letter from a very dear friend; it was going to be his birthday soon and he wanted to make a request. The letter said that his birthday wish was that he didn’t want a card or a present, he wanted me to perform three acts of kindness, write them down on paper and send the results to him. I must admit, this was a very different request, but one that has enhanced my life to this day, and I thank him for that.

I can tell you, over the years I have been on both sides of random acts of kindness and no matter what side you are on, it makes your heart feel good. Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere; try a little, but I must warn you, it could become addicting. Unlike other addicting things, this will not be hazardous to your health.

It’s all part of “learning to love with an open hand.”

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