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I am not a big fan of the news, especially as my husband can tell you, first thing in the morning. There is something about hearing all the world’s most depressing and devastating news before my head even leaves the pillow that makes me not even want to get out of bed in the morning.
I love when I hear something in the news that is cheery or speaks of the good nature in people, rather than the death and destruction in the world. Reminds me of the scene from “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” where Winona Ryder says to Gary Oldman –”take me away from all this death”. But I digress…..
This morning I came across this article on a site named “Good News”. Evidently a woman in a South Carolina town entered the local coffee shop, paid for her coffee and gave the counter person a $100 to pay for coffee for the customers coming into the shop after her, until the money was used up. That was two years ago and the same little coffee shop has had several of its customers “pay it forward” and do the same thing, leaving extra money to treat fellow customers to coffee that day.
Imagine how something so simple could make your day? We often forget that people could be having a really lousy day and a simple gesture, a free cup of coffee from a stranger’s generosity or a simple kind gesture or smile, could make all the difference. Life really is about the “little things” which are really the “big things” in the end.
Tomorrow is International Pay It Forward Day. It is a day where everyone is asked to do one random act of kindness for someone, anyone.
To explain about the concept, here is an excerpt from payitforwardday.com
There is tremendous power and positive energy in giving – it is a shame that not enough people have experienced it to the fullest. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 16 countries around the world participating in the day.
So why Pay it Forward?
- To encourage all of us to embrace the incredible power of giving.
- To show each other that we care and that there is love, hope and magic all around us.
- To know that we may be only one person in this world, but to one person, at one time, we are the world.
Make a difference and experience the true power of giving. Thank you for your support. Together we can change the world – one good deed at a time!
According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that performing acts of kindness actual increase your happiness. People feel good when they are doing good, even if it is a small gesture.
Why is being generous such a mood-booster? While hard-and-fast answers are elusive, the main reason is that it gives people a strong sense they’re doing something that matters. “There are a lot of positive social consequences to being kind—other people appreciate you, they’re grateful and they might reciprocate,” Stanford University psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says. All of these responses, she adds, are likely to make your happiness cup run over.
This concept of doing good for others in order to improve your own happiness is also a theme in the book I am currently reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. According to Gretchen one of the realizations she came upon in her research is that “one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.”
Here are some simple things we can do to pay it forward tomorrow…try one on and see how you feel.
- Smile at a total stranger
- Put money in someone’s parking meter that’s about to run out.
- Pay the toll for the car behind yours
- Call someone just to say hello and see how their day is going
- Send flowers for no reason.
- Give a thank you note to a crossing guard or bus driver.
- Pay for someone’s coffee or dessert.
- Bake cookies and take them to a neighbor.
- Visit an elderly neighbor “just because”.
- Leave a book that you love for someone else to enjoy on a bus or train.
- Hold the door for someone
- Leave an extra tip for a waitperson
- Say please and thank you and mean it!
- Share an umbrella with someone who doesn’t have one
What other ideas do you have to make someone else’s day a little better?