Several years ago, I wrote several articles for the Breeze on the subject of “Paying it Forward!” The phrase and ideology was defined as “doing something kind or useful because someone has done something kind or useful for you!” Some of the actions that precipitated the rebound or return of the kind or useful actions were defined as “random acts of kindness”, and essentially I elaborated on that premise in my pieces I journalized. The world’s uneasiness, the stress of everyday living due to inflation and our nation’s matters of tension increase the need for countless positive vibes and kindness!
The reason for returning to that premise is a total reconsideration more appropriate to our cultural, societal and personal experiential matters today! Empirical actions and responses have prompted me to approach this from a differing viewpoint and opinion.
“Paying it forward” can be as simple as a gesture towards another and most likely is one that would be received by you favorably in their situation! Certainly I am not downplaying some of the acts that become the motivation for us to “Pay if Forward” with a like behavior for another likely recipient of that action hopefully making their day better, one of enlightenment! The latter sentence describes the “Pay it Forward” origin that was promoted via a website, supporting bracelets, stories of encouragement etc.The Website of “Paying it Forward” day spread to over 80 countries and over 100 state and city proclamations! The ideal was that millions of participants with multi millions of acts could espouse human kindness with widespread influence to mankind everywhere and people in power ultimately favorable decision making and even spreading love for others!
I personally have witnessed, responded with a simpler approach to “Paying it Forward,” with some actions or gestures that follow:
- A gracious smile to a person you know or ones you don’t know followed by a head nod, a silent gesture communicates “How are you!”
- A verbal compliment to anyone, familiar person or not, on their apparel, hair shoes or whatever!
- If exercising and noticing someone you know that has lost weight, a compliment of if it is someone obviously struggling, and encouraging word as “Keep up the good work!”
- When in an extended line in a store, offer your place in line to someone with an item or two
- Checking on elderly friends that have become somewhat isolated as a result of their medical condition or simply not as able to appear at functions etc.
A good revision of the age old axiom of “a friend in need is a friend indeed,” is anyone in need it is time to be a friend indeed! Words of encouragement, empathy, congratulations, get well, sorrow, or simply “how are you doing” are words that can never be expressed enough! Certainly hand written words have the most meaning, but any words, when needed, via text message, e mail messages or in passing expressed verbally can have the same positive affect! Choice of words matters, ostensibly the words should have a “feel good” affect. The best rule to follow is to empathize and ask you, “What would I want to hear if I was in their situation?”
Random words of kindness to the surprise of, even strangers, contribute to positivity and happiness to both the parties, the “one offering the words and the one receiving the words!” Examples are:
- Thanking military, police, Firemen simply with a “thanks for your service!”
- Recognizing retail store personnel for their help, and wishing them a “good day”, etc.
- During holidays wishing everyone you encounter the proper wishes for that holiday.
- A text, email or phone call simply to offer “thinking of you” to friends, relatives etc.
In closing, you are human taking the time to read this, but we can all become more humane! I am sure you feel you are a good person, but we can all become better persons and “Paying it Forward” is the first step!