pay it forward
I asked my Facebook followers this week to let me know what they wanted to read about, what was catching their attention in the media or what was bothering them at the moment that they’d like to talk about. Unfortunately I didn’t get a very good response but one that did resonate with me was from a girl named Kristy who said she had been affected by what she saw on the news about troubles in the Ukraine.
We all see stories on the evening news or in the media that disturb us sometimes. I often sit in front of the TV wondering what I can do to help communities in need or countries in crisis. For us as individuals of course the problems are too big, what can we do as ordinary everyday people to change things?
Kristy wanted to write a letter to the government about how Australia could help with what is going on in the Ukraine but she felt that it would be pointless, because what difference would a letter from one person make? My advice was to go ahead and write the letter. Yes, maybe Kristy’s lone voice won’t make a difference but imagine if everyone who had the same idea followed through with it.
Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. If everyone who was affected by the trouble in the Ukraine, the war in the Middle East or the crimes against human rights in the Congo put pen to paper, government houses would be flooded with mail and would surely have to take notice.
Kristy’s simple message made me wonder, what sort of world do I want my son to grow up in? What can I do to make a positive change in our community?
My husband and I were having lunch last week at a local café and when he went to pay the bill the cashier told him it had already been taken care of. To this day we don’t know who paid for our meal, although we have our suspicions. Without knowing for sure, we can’t repay that person or thank them properly. All I could do was write a heartfelt thank you on social media hoping they would see it and now we’ve commit to paying it forward.
I know the world’s problems and my free lunch may not seem connected at all but imagine this, if every time someone did something good for you, you paid it forward to someone else. All that means is that you do something good for someone with no expectation of being repaid or even thanked. If everyone carried on paying it forward, we could change the world.
So next time you think you are powerless to make the world a better place, think a little closer to home. Do something nice for a stranger and when they ask how they can repay you simply tell them to pay it forward. Or if someone does something nice for you, make a point of doing something nice for someone else.
We might not be able to change the world on our own but one kind act at a time, we can make it a better place.