Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pay it Forward

I am a believer in the practice or idea of paying it forward. In case you are not aware of what “ paying it forward” means or you live under a rock …which some of you may do so I apologies for poking fun at your humble abode…I am sure it is lovely under that rock of yours, I will give you a brief explanation to the best of my ability.

Paying it forward is a simple concept really. Lets say someone does you a good deed such as puts money in your parking meter when you are about to run out of time and the parking ticket Nazis is on his way to nail a ticket to your windscreen. Some random stranger pumps your meter and has done you a good deed for the day ( hopefully he flipped the bird to the parking ticket Nazis as well ) So the next day you see someone struggling to cross the road with a insane amount of pages and things are dropping and it is basically a walking time bomb of tears. You offer to help them get across the road. That is paying it forward. Paying the good deed done to you onto others hence the term paying it forward.

I have always tried to do this normally it is on a smaller scale. So it’s not like I am giving away thousands of dollars or open charities to help people. Its little things like the above mentioned. It is something you do for free that feels just as good as buying that new pair of jeans or handbag or drink lol.

In my travels I had an enormous amount of kindness shown to me. This was never a pity style kindness or a charity case. It was just people willing to be kind towards me at that moment. Some of the clearest and most ingrain memories are the holidays. I was living in a country with no one around me for a few Christmases I was also single so I did not have that other person to lean on or rely on during the holidays. I spent one Christmas alone and can safely say it was the most suicidal depressing experience of my life. There is nothing worse then sitting in your flat alone getting pissed and eating a microwave dinner because all you can think is “ fuck this I am not cooking or celebrating” So when friends asked me to come to theirs one year it was actually hard to hold back the emotions at the enormity of my situation at that time. I had friends also entertain my very North American concept of Thanksgiving. They seemed to realize that this was important to me and that they needed to be there for me as friends and people who understood me and my need to have that thanksgiving that year.

So I have always wanted to “pay it forward” knowing how that situation feels. Waking up on Christmas morning to a silent house, no smell of food or the smell of Christmas. Waking up and knowing that for the rest of the day everyone around you would be laughing, eating crying, arguing and generally enjoying Christmas while you are effectively the sad bastard by yourself.
Paying it forward is not a pity thing this needs to be made clear to all. Paying it forward is not something that is asked for. It is something that is done out of kindness and from the heart. It is not done with the intent that it has to be done back to you at one point. It is not done to make the other person feel as though they are in debt to you. It is simply done for the kind act and good deed that it is and that is all.

So this year why don’t you try and pay it forward people. Find the littlest thing and just do it. Make that effort and do you’re paying it forward for the day, month or even year. It is the time of year that things like this should come as second nature to you all.

So yes everyone …go and …PAY IT FORWARD PLEASE


Anonymous said...

Great post! And certainly something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Am just testing something :)