At the suggestion of a new blogging friend, I have been inspired to include a new meme at A Dose of Positivity. A "meme" in the world of blogging is another catch-phrase for creating a specific theme - usually one specific day of the week - devoting the posting for that day entirely in support of the meme's message and purpose.
Kelly at Blue Frogs Legs initiated a most wonderful idea for Fridays - "Pay it Forward Fridays." Being a devotee of the novel, movie and mantra of the same, I couldn't help but be drawn into her idea and dream for this movement to move into more of the blogging world. We bloggers have so many ways to touch the hearts of many, and whether we write about family life as mommys, review books or movies, keep travel logs or anything, I think we can all agree on one thing...random acts of kindness - in any form - when paid "forward" are contagious, and now within the world of cyberspace, we writers have infinite possibilities to touch lives the world over!
I have touched on this "theory" several times in past postings, (see "Smiles - At A Bargain" ) and usually try to incorporate a message as often as I can on how very simple things can make a huge difference in another person's life. Seeing Kelly's post and new idea was a "light-bulb" moment for me, and I'm honored to take up the challenge.
Recently, a very close and personal friend of mine was presented with an opportunity to actually put this "theory" into practice. About a week ago, my friend had stopped at a convenience store/gas station within the city to purchase gas and some snacks before getting on the expressway for his long ride home from work. As he was leaving the store, heading back to his car, a man who definitely appeared to be "down on his luck" came up to my friend and asked him if he could spare a little money, because he hadn't really had anything to eat in a while. My friend knew by looking at him, and the tone of his voice, that this man was probably truthful. Quickly looking around, my friend noticed a fast-food chicken restaurant directly across the street, and made a quick - yet monumental - decision. Telling the man to get into the passenger's seat, my friend then drove him across the busy road to the restaurant, where he took the man inside and purchased him a full meal. He left the man inside to eat his meal in peace, never knowing exactly just how long it had been since this humble person had actually had a meal.
I've been thinking about my friend's experience for quite a few days now, and reading Kelly's post, I knew that I could finally write about this amazing little story of generosity. While I won't embarrass my friend by posting his name, I have to say how proud I was to hear of this story, and how grateful I am to personally know someone of this caliber - for it really did happen, and I know deep within that at the moment, my friend wasn't even thinking about the "pay it foward" movement - it trully was a random act of kindness. Moments like that are usually unexpected, but when we are faced with them, they not only change the outlook of the recipient, but in the blink-of-an-eye, they change us. Sure, many people might walk away thinking in "today's world" such an act of faith would be very risky...would you, when faced with a similar dilemma, invite a seemingly homeless stranger into your car, even though it's only across the street?
Maybe most of us aren't presented with opportunities such as this to perform such a selfless act, but all of us are usually given many moments where we have an occasion to share something. Usually, it doesn't even have to cost us anything - as I've posted before, sometimes taking the time to offer someone a handshake, welcome or smile, can mean so much more.... why does this seem so important to me? In a nutshell, I firmly believe that continuing to pass on a spirit of kindness - of any kind - offers us hope. All of us, when on the receiving end of a selfless and generous deed know that there is, indeed, still kindness and love remaining within the world.
In this spirit, I would like to begin posting examples on Fridays of those who have "paid it forward." Ways other readers are - or have experienced - paying it forward, and even notes on how I, myself have strived to exercise this belief.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."
- Lady Diana