Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Pay it Forward Day!

"If everyone thought a little bit more for another, that would be good."
Meda LeDoux

Today's quote is brought to you by one of the most wise and compassionate women I will ever know. Whispered from the lips of an eighty-eight year old woman lying sick in bed, she encourages us to eat more, take walks, and "be good to each other" despite the fact that we are there to spend time with her. From the moment we met, I knew we shared a special bond. Raising three children and then their seven children, Meda has spent her life paying it forward and she reminds me daily. Her words are simple, but couldn't be more true. I'd appreciate if everyone took a moment to close your eyes and think a happy thought for Meda or "another" now.

 Meda on her most recent birthday with cake and getting measured by her son and grandson.

I was excited today because I got to leave work early at 3pm. However with all the errands I had to run, I ended up en route home at the same time of day anyway. Regardless, I hopped on the freeway opting for a steady slow drive rather than stopping constantly at red lights on side streets. Getting off the freeway, there was a woman with a sign that read "Bella and I are hungry and homeless." I noticed a tiny little chihuahua peaking out of a body sling wrap. Before the light turned green, I realized I had a vegetarian burrito given to me as extra food from the event on campus today. I rolled down my window and held out the box.

"It's a vegetarian burrito."
"Thank you," she said.
"God bless." And I rolled up my window.

...God bless? I don't say "God bless." It's something I see on signs, it's something people have said to me, but never something I have ever said. I'm not a particularly religious person, but for some reason these words fell out of my mouth. I felt funny, as if I used something without having permission. But then it hit me. Meda says this. She says, "May God bless you." Almost every time she does, it reminds me of the lyric in the prayer song in Fiddler on the Roof. "May the Lord protect and defend you, may he always shield you from pain." I grew up on musical theatre, sue me, but half of you just sang that in your own head. Maybe in the one moment I had to speak to this homeless woman, I wanted her to know that she was loved. Maybe I imagined her umbrella-ed under a greater force for good. Maybe I just hoped she like avocado.

Pay it Forward day should be everyday and I think that's something on which we can all agree. You don't have to share the memes on facebook (some of them are really cute), but whether it's a happy thought, act of kindness, or generous deed, I hope you do a little good everyday. I hope it's something that is so second nature, you don't have to take the time to even think about. First nature. Is that a thing? Be a first nature pay-it-forwarder. Mm, yeah... I'm going with that.

Feel free to comment below (or on facebook/instagram) with something you did today to pay it forward or something you want to do tomorrow. If you can't think of anything right now, that's okay. If you follow this blog, I'll give you plenty of ideas every so often so you can fill your pay-it-forward personal quota.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention! The website has hit over 1,000 page views. Thank you to EVERYONE who has taken the time to make a difference in someone else's life. And if you haven't done a project yet, no worries-- we have some AWESOME ones coming up soon! I'm truly touched by people's support and generosity; I think we sometimes just need a little guidance on where to focus all that good energy. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. And HAPPY Pay it Forward day! :o)