There was a movie some years ago that talked about this principle, and I think it has very deep and profound implications for all of us. Paying it forward means that you do something for someone and instead of them paying you back, you ask them to pay it forward, i.e. bless someone else.
Perhaps you have heard of the term, “Random Acts of Kindness (RAK).” This means doing something for someone that does not expect it and you expect nothing in return. This is the essence of paying it forward.
Around Christmas time and Birthdays there seems to be a raft of RAKs. As a small boy, I saw firsthand what a RAK can do. It was my Mom’s birthday , and everyone in our family had bought presents for her, but we were not a wealthy family. Typically, you got one present from each member of the family. Since there were six of us, you had to get creative with your budget. Six people and six birthdays to buy for. When you are a kid with no job, that is a real problem.
One year I decided that I was going to give Mom six presents instead of one. Only problem was, I was a kid, and my allowance was not much. I decided that I would do EXTRA chores (which I hated doing) to make money to do what I wanted to do.
I remember the reaction my Mom had that year. My Mom passed away many years ago, but I will never forget her reaction. There was this look of, “Wow. Really? Thanks.” These were not expensive gifts, ( a new spatula, some tongs for the kitchen, and some makeup…which I did not realize at the time was not her type),but I know that she saw that I had given beyond my means, and she appreciated that. It was cool. The tears that day were happy tears.
It was then that I realized that it really is more blessed to give than to receive. What you get in return is intangible….a blessing. But blessings have a funny way of turning into tangible things. I have had people bless me from time to time in my life when I needed it the most. They had no idea of how much that meant to me. They literally sowed into my life what I needed most at the time. Sometimes it was money, sometimes just a word of encouragement. What goes around, comes around, as they say.
Have you experienced RAKs in your life? Pay it forward. Be a blessing. Start with your family, then with your friends, and when you really want to get blessed perform a RAK on a stranger and watch what happens. When you give someone something without expecting anything in return, what you get back will exceed anything you can comprehend, and you just may save a life….literally.