Monday, June 06, 2005

Pay It Forward!

In reexamining my basic, core beliefs lately, I find this suggests one of the main ones. "Do Unto Others..." Taking the initiative in "being kind" yes, having "the milk of human kindness" for me has proven to have some very positive and worthwhile results. I have seen it time and again happen just the opposite too. "What goes around, comes around." I've mentioned it before here. It is sort of the opposite of "No good deed goes unpunished" which alot of people also believe. Are these just a bunch of truisms? Are they practical and prove-able?

There was a group on "Good Morning America" this last week called the "Kindness Crew". They were giving everyone in the station massages, foot rubs and hugs. They had a book too, "It's Cool to be Kind" They said it developed after 9/11 as a response. "Random acts of kindness" was another one that came along. I remember a favorite movie of mine, a few years back, which had the same title, "Pay it forward". It was an experiment of a school kid in response to some pretty devastating family problems. The premise was that when someone, anyone, does something nice for you, your reaction should not only be to return that kindness to them, not necessarily in kind, but to randomly go out of your way to do two or three kind acts for "total strangers". It showed how it all eventually came back to you, many fold. And, of course, you can assume the opposite could come true too. Your bad deeds come back to haunt you also.
I can see where just hugging strangers, especially those who really don't want to be hugged by you, ("a prevert") might be interpreted badly.

I've have fun standing in a Starbucks line and paying for the person behind me that I don't even know. At our local Starbucks I'm known as "Waldo" (as in "Where's Waldo") and it starts my day off in a friendly way. Or, I'll have small change for someone who needs it. I've seen the effects of this pre-emptive kindness in my current career. Escrows go much easier when you go out of your "way" to help buyers (potential buyers) early in the process, even before the "check, and reservation" comes in. I may not see it in a "be-back" with them, but it will usually come around with other customers. Assuming the best outcome, even with small problems and issues in escrow and help tremendously later on. Catching a potential problem as it is developing, when it is just a "pinch" can prevent it from becoming a "punch" or worse later on. They also get to send in a survey/evaluation of you/your services about a month after they are in their home. We have to set goals for that 90% level.

I saw all this time and again in my classrooms and with my fellow teachers. Sometimes, we, as a staff, would get together on a break and get the word out...a certain kid is having a rough day/week/life/family. Every time we saw him/her or had dealings with him, smile and be very proactively positive. It many cases it would turn the kid around emotionally at least. Classroom discipline is best handled this way also. Reminders and warning can be positive with lots of intermediate, small goals and rewards.

Where the challenge remains is with my immediate family. I'm much more ego-involved and despertly wanting the best for them. Of course, I expect to be thanked or recognized for my help, kindness and concern. So much is assumed and unspoken. My natural way is very "nordic" remote and unphysical. I got it from my parents I think, and they from theirs. I've never been that demonstrative or openly huggy or loving person, even with my "dramatic friends". Now I can see it coming back to me. It can be very hurtful. I know it is not done on purpose but it happens. I can only hope that my help can be "paid forward" to their kids and love ones and friends. I guess that's the way it has to go. I'm trying to change too. Bob


At 5:47 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

If you want an explanation of the title: Bob! Your Life Preserver! Click on the May Archive and the 1st entry: "What's in a Name?" Thanks, Bob


Post a Comment

<< Home