I read a blog tonight about paying it forward and decided that instead of leaving a comment, I would create it as a blog of my own and “pay it forward” as a way to spread the words which inspired me.
When I was younger, I was in an abusive relationship. My ex and I would constantly have arguments and I would constantly leave to avoid the abuse and my place of choice was to walk the neighborhood since it was public and he couldn’t chase after me. One time I was walking the neighborhood, obviously I had just been crying. And a woman came outside and asked me if I was ok. I lied and said I was, but that moment really stuck with me. That moment was what started me down the path to getting out of the situation. Fast forward almost ten years, and I now volunteer with a domestic violence program. I would never be able to thank that woman for what she’d done, but I have been able to help countless women in the position I had been in that day. I never ask their thanks, and I don’t need it. I know that what I do for the women I help could make a difference and that’s all that matters to me.
So I encourage all of you to pay it forward. I set my own personal goals pretty high and want to make a big impact, but not every “pay it forward” moment has to be this big.
I buy lunch for the person in the drive through behind me.
I leave cash in bus stops.
I donate to charity.
I volunteer with a few (Ok, so it’s more like A LOT OF) organizations.
I smile at people who look sad.
I let people use my phone when they ask.
Once I saw a woman crying, and I gave her a hug. It was a very small gesture and didn’t take a lot of effort on my part, but to the woman it meant a lot. (She told me her story and she’d been kicked out of her home and was facing a night on the street. I gave her some resources to find a place to sleep for the night. But this would have never happened if I didn’t get over myself and help a crying woman! She said loads of people had already passed by her and not said or done anything.)
When I see pennies on the ground heads down, I flip them over so that the next person will get a lucky penny.
I bring sandwiches and coffee to pan handlers.
Until now I’ve never shared all the ways in which I practice random acts of kindness. I don’t publicize it. I don’t make a big deal of it, I do it for others, not for recognition.
What do you do for random acts of kindness? Share in the comments! I’m excited to hear!