Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paying It Forward

I keep forgetting to check the email account So, if you do send me an email, please leave a little comment here telling me to check it. I'm still waiting for all you guest bloggers! Thanks!

So, I might have spoken too soon about having a "Gratitude" theme for all of November. I mean, it's a key principle on our path to abiding joy--but how many different points can be made on it? I've been racking my brain all week and coming up totally empty. So, I prayed about it this morning and felt like I should just keep my ears open at church. Well, guess what the theme was in Sacrament Meeting today--Gratitude. That makes complete sense since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but as soon as I heard that, I felt a wave of relief and knew I would be inspired by something someone said. And I was. Although, I don't remember which speaker, or what they said exactly. Mommy brain, what else can I say?

This might be a little bit of a stretch, but I feel that today's topic should be expressing gratitude through paying it forward. The basic gist of this being that if someone provides you with a gift or service, you thank them by doing something for someone else. And then, ideally, they do something for another person, so on and so on. What a great way to spread joy!

Sometimes it feels like the world is a really hate-filled place. It seems like so many terrible things take place because of some one's anger or frustration. When I get caught up in thoughts like these, I feel pain at the thought of my children going through life with all that surrounding them. So, the idea of paying it forward is an excellent one to me. I know our readership (is that a word?) is small, but think of what great things could happen if a lot of people started practicing this? More of us would be serving each other and spreading love and joy. And the great thing about love and joy is that they have the capacity to grow exponentially. The more you give, the more you have, and the more there is to give.

I don't know if I've overwhelmed you with my challenges this month, but I won't be issuing one this week. I am going to try to keep track of the number of things other people do for or give me each day this week and then pass along the favor to someone else. I think I'll just keep a simple tally on a piece of paper. Who knows, maybe I'll try to do more service than I receive. I'm excited to see how it goes and I invite anyone else who wants to, to join me!

And this is a little random, but I just have to say that one of the Random Acts of Kindness that I most appreciate is when someone gets the door for me when I'm pushing a stroller--especially the double stroller. I can get through a door by myself, but it is so nice to have some one's help. And when someone does that for me, it really makes me want to help someone else in return.

What are your favorite RAK's? Have you ever tried to "pay it forward"? Are you going to join with me in keeping track of what you receive and what you give this week?



Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

I deleted the last comment because I had a typo ;) This is what I wrote:

Aren't random acts of kindness the best? Recently, I heard about Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboy's quarterback and his recent RAK. He apparently helps people a lot, and in this case he saw a homeless man trying to pull together change to see a movie. He paid for the guys ticket and asked him to watch the movie with him. I really liked that story.

Amy said...

I emailed you at the blog site! This post really made me think, you really are inspired.

Linda said...

I finally read your blog this evening and I agree with Amy that it's inspiring. I love the concept of paying it forward. Our first Christmas after we were married, we were surprised one evening to find on our doorstep a couple of bags full of groceries along with a ham and gallon of milk. We were soooo embarrassed! We were sure there were other people who needed these things more than we did. But we took them inside and put them away. The next Sunday we talked privately to the bishop and told him that we thought other people needed the food more than we did. He suggested that we keep it and look for opportunities to do the same thing for someone else. The truth is that we did need the food but our pride was keeping us from admitting that. It was a lesson well taught and we've been able to follow that wise bishop's counsel in a variety of ways. It's easier to give than to receive, but it's great to have experienced both.