Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paying it Forward

I'm a big believer in paying it forward.  I like to think it'll come back around eventually, but even if it doesn't, there's still joy in knowing someone else benefited in the meantime.  Some of our family friends are going through a rough time right now, because the matriarch of the family has a terminal illness.  One of the daughters spent a few days in a row at the hospital last week with her mom, which meant nothing was attended to at her house.  Her husband was also out of town, and she has an 18-month old.  My sister, Jo, and I went over to her house to see if there was anything we could help with.  We folded some laundry for her, helped with dishes, vacuumed, and watched her little one so she could relax for a few minutes.  She ran out of things she could think of to ask for help with, but Jo and I wanted to make sure we did as much as we could.  I walked by the patio door and noticed the backyard needed mowing.  I didn't hesitate to ask where the lawn mower was, and I hopped out there and took care of it.

I was talking to my mom about it a few days later, and she told me that the daughter mentioned how appreciative she was.  I was pleased to hear that, but really it was no trouble.  Jo and I were glad to help.  My mom went on to ask, "And did I hear that you mowed their lawn too??"  She chuckled about it, and I was like, "Yeah, it seemed like it needed to be done, so I did it."  She said, "You know, that's a perfect example of paying it forward.  You didn't ask me to, but I mowed your lawn while you were in Europe because it needed to be done and I knew that you would appreciate it, and you just did the same for someone else."  She was right.  I paid back her favor by performing the same nice gesture for someone else.  When we start to think of all of us being in this together, then we start to realize that one nice thing done for me is one nice thing done for everybody.  I like being surrounded by people who share this mindset.  When we're all connected, I can pay it forward and it's just as good as having paid back the person who performed the original act.  We can all appreciate when nice things are done, even if they're not personally done for us.  I'm thankful my mom taught me this mentality, and I plan on paying that forward as well.  :)

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