“Random acts of kindness. If I gave one to you, would you pay it forward?”
A few days ago, a bunch of kids were running around the school, handing out gingerbread cookies.
“Random acts of kindness! Go ahead, help yourself,” the group of girls said.
But, just before I ate my cookie, I blurted out, “Wait, do we have to pay it forward now?”
Ever since kindergarten, teachers have always told us to perform random acts of kindness. They expect us to be Good Samaritans. And we never really do pay it forward, because we feel like if no one is really watching, and to be honest, there really isn’t. I mean, we gave out awards in elementary school, we were encouraged to help others, but there isn’t really that true motivation to perform that helpful act.
But you never really know how much a random act of kindness means to someone, and means to you, until you actually perform them.
Everyone in the world has some social responsibility, your role may vary from others, but we all share some responsibility. We all try to benefit the society at large, and we’re always told that we’re responsible for our own actions.
I mean, I used to accept free hugs on the street, and cookies from strangers, and it’s that feeling of warmth in your heart, that someone could do this, that should make you want to spread the feeling, to pay it forward.
But, in today’s world, there’s a sense of greed, and it’s more evident nowadays that people aren’t really thinking about others anymore, they’re usually thinking about themselves.
But, when you perform random acts of kindness, it’s the giving that really affects you. Once that person realizes what you’ve done to them, you feel as you have done something truly generous, and you have payed it forward.
Random acts of kindness don’t have to turn out to be heart surgery, or anything big. In the movie “Evan Almighty,” God tells Evan that he must change the world by doing one ARK at a time, a “act of random kindness.” And guess what Evan took that as, yep, building an actual ark.
On the way from home today, I was on the bus with my friends, when a 70 year old man approached us. He looked dazed and confused, as if he suffered from some sort of dementia.
“Where is my home? Help me get home.”
Turns out the guy had been on 3 different buses, and was desperately trying to get home. I told him I didn’t know his home address, but I directed him to the bus driver, who helped him call his kids and get back home.
Ever since those girls passed on those cookies to me, I guess I did pay it forward. I’m not sure if it was as big as I wanted it to be, but I don’t really mind.
Just as in life, no one really expects you to do anything, because no one is really watching. From the first day I was given that gingerbread cookie, there was always that feeling in the back of my mind that I had to do something too. And usually, you just ignore that thought unless you have a heart and you do care about others.
Pay it forward, help someone else, actions speak louder than words. I believe that with good cause and effect, there will be good karma. So before you think about yourself over the holidays, have a heart and help someone else. I encourage you to give, cause you’ll see your lasting effect someday.
(Pay it forward! Like this guy! Free hugs!)