pay it forward

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i never saw the film and i don’t really intend to. as much as i dig the prevailing idea, i’m pretty okay with the unknown and have a sneaking suspicion that i’d be happier with what, in my mind, it could be than i would be with what it actually is.

fab photo shamelessly borrowed from both the d*s* webpage & ashley’s and traced back to goodlife zen.

one of my favourite regular emails comes in the form of feedblitz updates from design*sponge. for ages they paid it forward to me every friday with their small measures with ashley column. going back in the archives to 2010, in the spirit of american thanksgiving that year, paying it forward was her topic of choice.

For me, paying kindness forward fosters the sort of balanced, nourished and enriched life I want to cultivate.

we all know i’ve been thinking a lot about healthfulness lately and sometimes it isn’t just about exercise, diet, supplements and sleep patterns, but also incorporating bigger and more universal principles. i’m guilty of zeroing in and not always looking at the whole picture. thanks to ashley english for the reminder.

back last summer, i had an idea to do at least one thing for one person every day. i’m not sure that i’ve done a great job of living up to that so i’m starting over.

here’s a list of ashely’s ideas: “They are small, simple, easy gestures, none requiring a large expenditure of time or money.”

1. Buy the coffee for the person in line behind you at the drive-thru.
2. Pay the fare for the car behind you at the toll booth.
3. Pay the entrance fee for the car behind you at a beach or park.
4. Swipe your Metrocard for the person behind you at the turnstile.
5. Buy the movie ticket for the person behind you in line (at a matinee!).
6. Offer your seat on the subway or bus to a senior, pregnant woman or person with special needs.
7. Help a mother (or father) with an infant or toddler put groceries in her (or his) car.
8. Leave gathered wildflowers on the windshield of your neighbour’s car.
9. Scrape the ice off the windows of other cars on your street.
10. Help someone with a flat tire or impaired vehicle (even if only to offer use of your cell phone, should they lack one).
11. Write a letter of praise to the manager of a store detailing the outstanding service you received from one of their employees.
12. Compliment someone’s smile, eyes, hair, outfit, shoes, etc. (This is one of my MOST favorite things to do!)
13. Allow someone with fewer items to get ahead of you in the check-out line.
14. Let the driver with their turn signal on pull out in front of you.
15. Donate blood.

read the whole post then tell me, how do you pay it forward??

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5 responses »

  1. Love this idea and remember your post from last summer. I can’t say I spend any significant time actually putting these ‘pay it forward’ ideas in motion, but I do make a conscious effort to help strangers when I can. I’m always surprised at the positive reaction too, so you’d think I’d remember to keep it up.
    Definitely shined some light on this for me again. Picking it up!

    • Strangers are a good target, but my focus will still be more on the people I already have in my life. This is actually where your donuts originated. I think it was one of my first (and most delicious!) examples. 😉

  2. I love this. Of course I do, you know I do!

    ‘Payin’ it’ has to be one of my favourite things to do to cheer myself up, and cheer up those around me. I’m a huge fan of warm fuzzies. Out of the 15 you listed I regularly do 7 of the items, but have a few ideas now of other nice things I can do.

    I think you’ll agree with me though, as a young lady, helping someone with their impaired car is not the safest thing for us to attempt. I am going to pass on that one.

    Good for you for starting this again and make the effort that so many people do not. xo

    • Excellent point, Ms. Bridgman! I didn’t think that one through. That’s probably because the extent of my help would be “Yep. That’s a car.” 😉

      I need a way to keep myself in check on this thing. It’s not that I mean to forget, sometimes I just do.

  3. I love the PIF ideas and, although I get precious *few* opportunities other than just being a nice guy to folks, I do like it when occasionally I can slip one in.

    I’d like to plea to all the drivers out there, however, and ask that you do not do #14 unless it is according to traffic rules. Allowing someone to go ahead of you in the “pecking order” of turns, right-of-way situations, etc. simply confuses everyone who is expecting folks to follow the rules and, frankly, causes more chances for accidents, misunderstandings, and so forth. It happens far too much around here — well-meaning folk “waving you through” at an intersection, and while nice, it only makes my blood boil and my crossing of the intersection that much more haphazard. It’s simply a bad safety issue.

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