The concept of paying it forward means ‘to respond to person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else.’
It’s as simple as that.
I first heard of paying it forward many years ago on the Oprah show where she encouraged people who’d been blessed by others to pass some of that blessing on to people who also needed it.
I was intrigued by it and immediately knew it was a concept I wanted to embrace ; but I kept telling myself “one day when I have enough to give “. Because like several others, I assumed that I needed a huge amount of money to make a difference in other peoples lives.
I never thought what others gave me, was enough to share, forgetting there were those less privileged than I thought I was at the time.
I realized if I continued to believe there was a limit on how much I could and couldn’t give I was probably never going to be able to help anyone in need, and once I understood this I began to appreciate the real meaning of giving.
That it wasn’t about how much, who knew and whether or not I could brag about ‘doing good’, it was how it made me feel right afterwards.
The feeling you get when you know you’ve made a difference in someone ones life is one that’s indescribable.
The difference you make in someone’s life with an amount you didnt think was good enough but to them was life changing, is something you can only understand through giving yourself.
And so all year I continued to pay any act of kindness forward to others whenever I could, especially to people who sometimes didn’t have the courage to ask out of embarrassment.
Which is why I promised myself to NEVER broadcast it just for attention , except when it would bring awareness to a cause and encourage others to do same.
I wouldn’t embarrass others for an ego boast by telling everyone what I’d done for them.
With time, and without paying attention to it, I began to see a significant change in my life each time I gave (willingly at that), I would in one way of the other receive it back and sometimes more from the most unlikely people and places.
There were days when I couldn’t necessarily afford to give, but whenever it felt right I took that leap of faith and did it knowing if God sent that person to me for a reason.
For years my mother would tell me ‘ the more you give the more you get it back’, and I’m sure you’ve all heard it in church or at some point in your life,but I never completely understood it.
I remember having long arguments with my mother when I was younger, she would take of her shoes to give to others if she had to, I hated how low she was willing to put herself to help people I felt were undeserving,especially those who took advantage of her for it.
But she never stopped and stayed true to what she believed in, and I believe as people have blessed her some of it has trickled down to us her children; because there have been days when I’ve wondered how God has been so good to me when I wasn’t sure I deserved it.
So as you celebrate the birth of Christ and you enjoy your presents, food and drinks, remember that the true meaning of Christmas is about kindness,compassion, showing love and more importantly giving to those who need it the most.
And just as God has blessed you, so should you bless others who may need it.
And you don’t need much to do this either, GH 1 is all someone needs to have a Merry Christmas today, or for some just a bag of rice to feed their family.
Nothing is ever too insignificant, sometimes all a person needs is a smile, a hug or a kind word to get them though the day.
Will you be cheated? Sometimes. Will you be rewarded ? Not immediately. BUT I can guarantee that your life will change in a way that you never expected and you will be blessed beyond measure that even generations after you will benefit.
And when you are on the receiving end of this act of kindness, know that its important you pay it forward to someone who needs even less than you did to get them through the day.
MERRY CHRISTMAS ?
Phot Credit : Gilbert Asante