Pay it Forward

by | Jul 28, 2011

The movie ‘Pay it Forward’ was on last night, and my friend Patty has been telling me I must see it for quite some time. I watched the first half and Patty actually called (of course-there are no coincidences), so I did not see the end, but I certainly got the idea. The premise of the movie is that you don’t have to have a reason to help some one, and you shouldn’t expect anything in return. Just helping one another is the reward. That is the way I live my life, and I realize not everyone thinks that way. In fact, I have found in the game of life, that some people think my kindness is fake or an act, and that is fine. It doesn’t stop me from being who I am. I finally stopped allowing myself to be hurt by that, and just accept and send blessings and happy thoughts their way. The reason I feel this is so important right now, is because the majority of Americans are suffering in this financial crisis, and they might live right next door to you. They may be pinching pennies, cutting coupons, or wondering how they are going to have enough money to put gas in their car. Maybe they don’t even know how they are going to put food on their table, and just last year they were visiting Disney during spring break, or buying a new set of golf clubs just for fun. These are real people probably in your neighborhood who are suffering terribly, and they are too proud to ask for help, or just don’t want to be a burden. But the truth is we are meant to help one another, we are meant to give the shirt off of our backs, if our neighbor needs it. There is a big lesson in this crisis.

I work with an incredible woman named Kim Guerrise.  She is an acupuncturist and I give thanks to her for believing in me, and Spreadhappy. She read my website and blog, and felt that what I had to teach was very valuable, and her patients could benefit from it. She invited me into her practice…no strings attached…just come on in, do what you do, and oh, by the way, here is a comfy cozy office space all set up for you…welcome.  But what is even more amazing about Kim is that she turns away no one in need, whether they can afford her service or not.  She gives from her heart. Kim gives of herself unconditionally.  She is by no means a door-mat, I liken her to an angel.  And this is not just in her office, this is the way she lives her life. I remember seeing a young man at the off ramp of 95 one day as I was driving home from our office. He was clean cut, looked about 20 years old, and was holding a sign that he had just gotten our of the military, had a newborn, no job, and just needed a little help to get back on his feet. Kim and I had left the office at the same time, and that day for whatever reason, I had put all of my belongings, including my pocketbook in my trunk, so I had not a penny in my car to give this man, and it was too dangerous to get out of my car to get to the trunk while I was on the off-ramp. I happened to be on the phone with Kim when I was exiting, and told her about this young man, and that my heart was breaking that I couldn’t help him. She asked where I was and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll go back and find him and help him. I have plenty of cash with me.” I offered to meet her at a gas station to get to my bag in my trunk, and add to her stash.  She said, “no–go to your parent’s house (I was on my way to their house for dinner), I have plenty with me.” I said OK, and we spoke again later that night and she told me she did find him, and had a chance to help him. About a month later, we were both chaperoning a school field trip, and on my way back to school with kids in my car, I saw this man on a different off ramp of 95. He was again holding a sign, and this time I had my wallet in my car. I think I had about twenty bucks with me, but whatever it was, I gave it to him. I spoke to him and he remembered Kim, and also told me the good news that he was starting a job the next day, and this was his last day asking for help on the off ramp of 95. I haven’t seen him since, but this story sticks in my mind, because when we are able to give, we should give. We should share…just like we are taught in kindergarten.  It is amazing that I actually saw this same man a month later, and was able to relay his good news to Kim.  We both new we helped this man, and had the blessing of hearing he and his family have a chance!  In our office, I don’t turn away a soul.  In fact, I find myself offering gifts all the time with the genuine hope of helping others.  Kim values my service and is incredibly generous to me.  In fact, I know Kim is fearlessly generous in all aspects of her life, and she doesn’t have to let anyone know.  It is not ego-based, it is soul-based and my gut tells me she is an angel to a lot of people, not just me!  This is a clear message to pay it forward.  It all comes back around…when we help one another, our needs are met miraculously, by unexpected people, in unexpected ways.  We all need a little help right now.  My hope is that by reading this, maybe you will give a little more from the heart, and let go of the fear of ‘if I give, there won’t be enough for me.’.   There are many ways to give, it doesn’t have to be monetarily.  Maybe it’s offering to watch a friend’s child for a night, wash a friend’s car, pick up an extra bag of groceries for someone in need, clean out your closet and offer an acquaintance first pick.  Maybe it’s fill some-one’s parking meter when you see their time is about to expire…invite a friend to dinner.  These things may seem small to you, but absolutely huge to another.  So give without expecting in return…pay it forward.