Psst… Pass it On!
Pay it forward. It’s such a beautiful challenge. The idea of bestowing kindness to someone and instead of accepting something back in kind, having the person pay that kindness forward.
I love the ripple effect that causes. Like a rock being skipped across the water’s surface, the ripples continue well after that stone has been there.
I love this on a whole lot of levels. I am a fan of random acts of kindness—you know, where you do something for someone, unbeknownst to them. In this case, there is no way that the person can pay you back because it’s done in secret. Kind of like a kindness ninja. Then they have a choice to say, hey, I just got a lucky break, let me help someone else out. Stealthy, and filled with love. I think to add this extra little element of calling the person to pay it forward. Almost like a game of tag. Imagine the world’s biggest game of kindness tag. Tag, you are it! No touchbacks. The no touchbacks part is important because it forces the “it” person to search out someone new onto which to bestow the kindness. It’s easy too. It doesn’t require money even or a lot of effort. It can be found in the simplest forms.
From the perspective of a parent:
There is no greater warmth in my heart when I see my kids behave kindly to other people. Whether holding a door open, helping someone at the grocery store who’s dropped something, stopping to see if the kid on the street crying is ok. It warms my heart. And you can see it warms theirs too. Their little cherub faces are flushed, their eyes shining and the pride and I dare say love is literally pouring out of them. We started a challenge in December thanks to our “Elf on the Shelf” whereby the kids had to bestow a random act of kindness every day in December. This makes me think that as a family we can continue to spread that kindness forward by helping others all year round. One of the last birthdays the kids were invited to, the birthday boy asked for us not to bring presents but instead donate to an animal shelter. Wow. From a parenting lens that was a huge teachable moment with the kids. I have so much, I want to help others. My son with seizures, he wants to write a book. To help other kids with seizures by sharing some of his tricks he’s learned. For no other reason than, “Seizures suck and I want to help take the suckiness away for others”.
From the perspective on an energy healer:
Kindness has a frequency. To bestow kindness, even if there is no expected return immediately shifts the vibration of the kindness giver to that same frequency. And high vibration feels good. So bestowing kindness, like a drug without the nasty side effects, is a sure-fire way to raise your mood and well being. Studies from around the world have shown that those who volunteer time to support others in their community live longer than those who don’t. The science of energy baby!
From the perspective of a colleague:
I like to drop random “jazz hands” into a conversation or as I walk by someone’s office. I think for me it’s spreading happiness or smiles in an environment where heads are down, things are super serious and important. Whether a passing smile, sharing a funny meme, making a funny face, or leaving random notes on desks, spreading happiness to colleagues has a ripple effect. The mood is lighter and the giggles spread like wildfire. Work seems less like work.
From the perspective of a human:
It’s as easy as picking up trash on your neighbour’s lawn. Helping someone get through the door while they are struggling with packages or even handing someone a tissue after a sneeze. Even though the intent of paying it forward is to not get anything in return, I argue, you do get so much. You get that warm feeling in your heart and that ripples out. I feel good and therefore I am more inclined to keep doing good.
It doesn’t matter what lens you use, paying it forward is like a boomerang that comes back and hits you between the eyes with all the feel-good emotions. It makes you want to pick up that boomerang and fire it back out there. No matter how hard and far you throw out that kindness it will always find it’s way back.
So I will start with this….. PSST… I love you, you are awesome! Pass it on.