Today, I met the woman whose family I adopted for Christmas. At an LRT station I gave her the gifts that I had purchased for her kids and it was in our conversation that I realized something. How truly blessed I am. Her husband had suffered from a major injury and the family was suffering financially as well as emotionally. After a rough few months she’s looking forward to the New Year where she’ll be starting a great new job. In talking with her I saw two things, sadness for the struggles that life has put her through and as well as genuine appreciation and gratefulness. She thanked me over and over again and hoped that good deeds return to me ten-fold. It was then that I realized, I didn’t need it to.
I have a loving family who I’ll be going on a road trip with to Disneyland in a week, a warm bed to sleep in, food on the table that’s been paid for and friends that would drop everything if I needed their help. My job doesn’t buy me a Range Rover but I walk into work happy to be there and am fortunate enough to work with some of the happiest and funniest people I have ever met. And one thing that I have noticed is that, price tags only go so far, but true meaning is in the relationships you build with the people around you. It would have been one thing to hit “donate” on a website, and I am in no way discouraging you to contribute to charitable organizations, but there is something magical about meeting the people you’re helping and spending time getting to know them. It makes the experience so much more, real.
This Christmas maybe you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t get an Xbox One or a new iPhone but instead of looking for what you’re missing take a look at what you already have. I can guarantee that the time spent with your family decorating the tree or sharing stories with friends at Secret Santa is something invaluable. And when you start to see, just like I did, that you already have everything – find someone to give back to. Because if we don’t appreciate the people in our lives and give to the people that need us then what happiness are we withholding to others and ourselves? Walking away from that meeting gave me a heartwarming feeling that I can’t fully describe to you, so all I can say is try it for yourself and you’ll know what I mean.
Now that I’m done with the cheesiness, onto the cute stuff! These polar bears want to wish you all
Envision you came across a backpack with $3000 cash in it, what would you do?
Dave Tally, a homeless man who is working to build his life back together and find a job found a backpack with $3300 cash in it. Although he dearly needed the money, he kept his honesty and integrity and found the man who owned the backpack and returned the full amount. How many of us would simply find an excuse not to return the bag “It came across my path for a reason, I was meant to keep it.” “It’s too difficult to find the owner of the bag.” “Whoever it belonged to clearly didn’t care for it that much.”
We could all learn a lesson from this man who shows that even when the whole world isn’t watching, it’s still important to do the right thing. In the end, everyone had a happy ending.
Envision a day when you wake up and have no bed to sleep in, and no home to return to.
“They are filthy, dirty and unimportant.”
“They are lazy and it’s their own fault for being in this situation.”
“All they want is drugs and booze.”
“They are simply down on their luck.”
“We all need to help one another in times of need.”
“You don’t know their stories. You don’t even know them.”
When asked about their opinion on the homeless, many have responded with the top quotations. I hope we can open our minds, filter out the negative judgments and view homelessness not as an individual’s identity, but rather an unfortunate temporary situation that is in.
Featured on ABC News an experiment to see just how willing people are to defend the homeless. This video shows that people aren’t afraid to stand up for their beliefs and defend those that are down on their luck. Placed in a restaurant with $20 Kevin (the homeless man) is given a hard time by Bartender Jeremy. The camera crew records people’s reaction in response to the situation.
Envision a global movement, where we start a ripple by Paying It Forward.
Today is the official Pay it Forward day.
It is a global act in which people participate in acts of kindness and ask for nothing in return but simply for the recipient to pay it forward.
Whether the act is large or small, the idea is that your kindness will inspire someone else to do the same for the next person. We all dream of a better world and this idea can help take us there. We live in a day where people may easily feel overlooked or unappreciated. Your act can touch the lives of someone much more than you understand and one simple gesture can be the ripple effect that makes this world just a little bit better.
The official website for the global Pay It Forward day can be found here:
They have PIF bracelets that you may wear to remind yourself to continue performing PIF acts or that you can pass on to individuals so that they may Pay it forward.
Based off of the Motion picture by Warner Bros: Pay It Forward
Please remember that simply because the official PIF day is over, doesn’t mean you have to stop Paying It Forward.