Day 345 Question 345:
What did you do today to Pay It Forward?
Well it is Christmas day 2012. The world was due to end 4 days ago but I guess that just didn’t happen. We have seen great tragedy occur not only in this country but all over the world this past year and sadly it seems to keep getting worse as time passes….well at least what the media is feeding us would lead us to believe that. I spend several years being very selfish…especially at Christmas time. I wanted this or that and I just never really took into account what other people had outside of my immediate family. A few weeks ago I decided to do something today and I wasn’t sure if I would end up following through or not. I saved up $150 and typed up the note below. I printed 3 copies of the note into envelopes along with $50 in each. I stopped at 3 random stores that were open and handed the clerk the envelope and said, “I know this sounds weird but this is for you…please make sure to open it.” I turned around and left before they had a chance to open it….I was not looking to be praised or for a thank you. I felt in my heart that this was my time to perform a random act of kindness without asking for any sort of recognition. So below is the note that I left for each of the 3 random clerks. I share this with you…all of my blog readers…not because I want a pat on the back but because I hope that all of you do something to pay it forward. I truly believe the act of paying it forward can spread like wild fire and right now those acts of kindness are much needed. So here is the letter:
Happy Holidays to you! You may be a little confused and surprised because a perfect stranger just came to you and handed you money in an envelope. There is NO motive behind this gesture (well, I guess there is but I will get to that). Today is Christmas and here you are working. I don’t know what religion you are or if you celebrate Christmas or any holidays at all. That is not important. What is important is that this is a day that many people are spending with all of their loved ones and you are working (most likely to keep your bills paid and to make ends meet). This money is to say thank you! I won’t tell you how to spend this money…I will simply ask for you to use the money in a way that will undoubtedly bring you happiness (it may require some heavy thinking to know what that might be). Well I guess that was one motive…ha ha. You don’t know me but I will tell you I am not a wealthy person. I live a very average life with a normal 40 hour job like most people and like most people I have lots of bills to pay. I spent many years of my life being selfish and expecting all kinds of gifts under the tree on Christmas and it took me over 30 years to finally see that there is so much in the world outside of myself….there are people struggling to feed their families and to make ends meet. I know I will receive gifts from my family even though I asked them not to this year…it is in their nature to give. This was my opportunity to pay it forward….to do what I KNOW is right. I gave up the greed and embraced the giving and that is why this money is for you. Besides using it for something that will bring you happiness, I also ask of you one more thing…I ask for you to pay it forward as well. We have seen so much violence and hate in this world and it is time to turn it around and the only way to do that is to show our own personal goodness. I do not know you and you do not know me but we both have goodness inside of ourselves and I ask of you to use your goodness to help others….even if the deeds are small. I truly believe that kindness and the belief in good and love (even in the worst of times) can change the world. I may want children one day and it is my hope that they come into a world where they experience kindness and compassion. Remember, even the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact. To you and all of your loved ones I wish you a wonderful 2013 and thank you again!
I also needed to take this opportunity to share a video I made of my mom on Christmas because I have the cutest mom in the whole world 🙂
Your mom is indeed cute…thanks her for the smiles she brought on this Christmas day.
What a blessing.
Diane, that is so awesome!
You are one incredible Diane Marie. I couldn’t be more proud of you. Love you so very much.
You made my day. You and your mother. I just spoke to a Third St. resident and we both commented on what a good group of kids you all were. All the best to you and your family in 2013.
This is such a cool idea. I am sure the store clerks would have a big surprise when they open their unexpected gift.
I just started reading your blog the last couple weeks and wanted to thank you for reminding me whats right in the world. Random acts of kindness is what I strongly believe in and pay it forward chimes right along with it. Its funny…..a lot of your comments sound like its me talking. lol I too have decided on the quality rather than quantity on friendships. And, the dating issue? I cant tell you how many times I went on a date years ago because I thought I HAD to. lol Yea, I look back on that one and laugh. Me? Im just looking for Channing Tatum to drop by my doorstep!!