A simple act of kindness can shift your perspective. [Click to Tweet]
Earlier this week, Leanne and I were out at lunch time as we were dealing with the aftermath of her accident. As we entered the nearby Subway to grab a quick bite to eat, there was a lady in front of us getting ready place her order. When we joined the line behind her, she immediately let us go in front of her which initially caught me off guard. From there, Leanne and I ordered our sandwiches. Just as we were about to pay for our lunch, the same young lady handed Leanne a coupon for a free sandwich.
She asked for nothing in return. She simply provided a small piece of generosity that brought a huge shift to my perspective. You see, we were so focused on the accident and the details related to how it impacted our family. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking of other people at the time. But this young lady changed my thinking. We had an opportunity to thank her as she was getting her drink from the self-service beverage dispenser. As we briefly exchanged words, we all agreed that the world needed more people who offered this type of simple kindness.
Late in November of last year, I wrote about starting a Pay It Forward Revolution. I shared that the idea may be utopian, but I’d love to see it work. The response to the post of okay, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I suppose I had resolved myself to the fact that this idea was stupid – or just too idealistic. Maybe I really didn’t believe it could work. After Monday’s lunch, I changed my mind. I don’t know if this young lady was part of the Pay It Forward Revolution or not. I do know that it felt refreshing to be on the receiving end of such simple generosity. It felt reassuring that it just may work. Her simple action reminded me that I can do my part through simple Pay It Forward actions every day. Perhaps, I can make a difference for one person today.
Describe a time when your perspective has been shifted by generosity. How can you make a difference in someone’s life today through simple kindness?
Saturday night, I watched Pay It Forward with my family. I’ve seen the movie before, and I couldn’t help being inspired all over again by the premise of this movie. There are some ugly parts in the story like an alcoholic mom, a homeless grandmother, a heroin addict, and a bunch of junior high bullies. But there’s also amazing beauty in this movie.
The movie clip above gives a brief explanation of the “pay it forward” concept. The idea is that a person does three acts of kindness for three different people. The acts of kindness have to be something big – something that the person couldn’t do for themselves. Instead of repaying the giver, the recipients of the act of kindness must pay it forward by doing acts of kindness for three more people. You can see how this would multiply quickly if people really followed up on the “pay it forward” movement.
Do you think this idea could work?
Imagine with me for a moment, that each of the readers of this blog took this challenge seriously. If 100 readers took the pay it forward challenge between now and the end of the year, 300 people would be impacted. Then these 300 people took the “pay it forward” challenge in the next 3 months. By the end of March, 900 more people would be impacted (for a total of 1,000 people). Then these 900 people took the “pay it forward” challenge in the following 3 months. By the end of June, 2700 more people would be impacted (for a total of 3,700 people).
Maybe “pay it forward” is utopian as the teacher indicates in the clip, but so what? What if only half the people followed through on the “pay it forward” challenge? Over 400 people would still be impacted by the end of June. That’s a big deal!
This Christmas season can get so crazy with trying to find the perfect gifts for our loved ones. It’s also busy as we run from one holiday event to the next holiday event. It’s so easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas as we are flooded with all the pressures of this holiday season.
What do you think about trying something crazy this season? What do you think about starting a revolution?
Let’s try it! Seriously. Let’s start our own “pay it forward” revolution. Wouldn’t you love to change the world for someone this season? Who’s with me? Let’s do this thing!
Leave a comment if you plan to join the “pay it forward” challenge. Let us know how you plan to join the revolution (not to brag – but to encourage – to share ideas).