Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 44: Pay it Forward

Back in October of 2000, a film came out that I am not sure was a big box office hit but had a phenomenal message in it, a message that would apply to anyone today. I guess I am coming from a biblical/moral viewpoint on this. In this movie, a little boy (Haley Joel Osmond-pre puberty) does a class project which he believes that if you have something good done to you, then you should repay that favor to 3 other people, thus the title of the movie "Pay it Forward." This is a principle in which you are not to keep on taking and taking but rather, when someone does something good to you or "blesses" you in some way, then you are to pass it on to 3 other people.

What got my wheels spinning on this thought was when I was riding around Waupaca last week and looked back at my years in Milwaukee. I thought of the many organizations, non-for profit programs, and ministries that are always out to help those who are in need (ie, food and clothing banks, shelters, soup kitchens, etc.). I asked my wife this simple question the other day in the car when we saw such a place with many people going in and out, "What are they doing to pay it forward?" It is always a concern of mine when people get blessed in many different ways and do nothing about it other than take more and more. I find this happening in my life from time to time when something good happens to me whether a financial blessing, a gift, those small things that are unexpected. It is then I must sit back and say to myself, "I am so happy about what just happened that I must pay it forward to someone else."

The life of a Christian is serving people, the life of a person who may not be a Christ follower, but a morally upright person, is to help your fellow man. In fact, it is summed up in a little rule…the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So, when you are helped in a way that benefits you, what are you going to do to pass it on? Maybe it is someone who is in dire financial straits and frequents a food or clothing bank. To pay it forward may not be in a monetary way, but rather volunteering at a church or city function. Maybe it means helping a neighbor across the street because someone has helped you. The moment we begin to take from others and take these things for granted, thinking "the world owes me", it is probably the moment we should take a step back and say, "I do not deserve this at all, the government owes me nothing for my choices in life and I will choose to be grateful for the organizations that have chose to help me and pay it forward by doing something good today for someone else."

It is this attitude of gratitude that will change our world that we live in and make it just a little bit of a sweeter place to live.

1 comment:

  1. Great concept! I remember another great mind, Chuck Colson saying the same thing about the movie. Great minds think alike!