Paying it Forward

The other day at school something happened that made me rethink my own actions. School was out for the day, and as always there was an onslaught of kids and parents making their way to the front door. This is a time when everyone is in a hurry and usually the time when someone pushes their way through the crowd. A little girl, who I recognized as a kindergartner, was in the lead but instead of flinging the doors open and escaping for the day, she turned and held them for the other kids. Her mom was nearby and asked her to let the doors go and follow her. The little girl shook her head and said, "Mom, I can't. I'm paying it forward."

Now I've heard the expression many times, and I have been on both the giving and the recieving end. However, I've never thought of it in terms other than an "adult's" random act of kindness. Shame on me for not remembering that paying it forward is not an adult's original idea, but one created everyday by you--the kids and teens of the world. What is paying it forward? It's basically doing a good deed for someone else when one has been done for you, and there are hundreds of ways you kids do this all the time. 

Now, I know you pay it forward without thinking about getting a reward. And for the most part, it is impossible to reward the hundreds, thousands, and even the millions of you who step forward to help someone out of the kindness of your heart. But, I need to say thank you. So THANK YOU FOR . . . 

  • helping another kid with math
  • opening the door for someone
  • offering your friendship to the new kid in class
  • sharing your study notes with someone who was absent
  • tutoring a younger sibling
  • playing with a younger sibling
  • helping out at home
  • volunteering whenever and wherever you can
  • listening to someone who has a problem
  • playing ball with someone who isn't as good as you
  • walking someone to school
  • sharing your lunch
  • clearing someone's garbage off the lunch table
  • and, a thousand other random acts of kindness you do every single day throughout the world.
So, who will you pay it forward to tomorrow?

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