Monday, July 26, 2010

Pay It Forward -- Feel good?

A discussion ensued yesterday, as three of us (myself, a friend offering muscle to help schlepp and a new friend who was the recipient of goods) moved items from my ownership to another home.

Image by manitou2121, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
"What kind of world would it be if everyone actually lived by the concept of pay it forward?" was one of the comments we discussed during the physical work.

The Pay It Forward phrase is often linked with another, "think globally, act locally" or "act locally, impact globally".

As well, there is a third phrase bandied about that is related, "random act of kindness". (472,000 hits on a google search, in case you were wondering).

Each action we take may have only a brief moment of visibility to others.  That does not give it any more or less perceived importance.

So, too, not achieving on the first few attempts gives it neither more nor less significance of import.  As Edison has become well-known for saying ... "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  I like a lot of things Edison is supposed to have said -- not all, but a great many.  So, here's a pay it backward:  Thank you Edison for expressing some things I've felt inept at expressing!

Looking for Pay it Forward concepts alive in today's blogosphere?

Here's a current blog post on paying it forward that I find some sense of kin with:  4 Ways to "Pay it Forward" with Social Media

I personally felt resonance with the chick who operates and her Pay it Forward yearly grant. You have until December 15, 2010 to apply for her 14th Pay It Forward grant.

This tale, too, I liked:  Pay it forward: Kids chip in to help the community.

The gentleman who was offering his muscle to help me schlepp things yesterday knows from past association with me that I don't believe any act is selfless.  We as humans don't do anything without having our self and our reward in mind. You do things for the benefit it gives you, whether that benefit is something you perceive to be monetary, emotional, mental, spirit, physical, or psychological in nature.
Photo by Steve Beger Photography
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

If you get a warm fuzzy feeling, or otherwise feel good about yourself for doing something, you are getting a benefit (i.e., a reward).

I also propose that it's okay for us to be aware that doing something for the reward, and to do things for reward, is not inherently a bad thing.

The things that detract from valuable benefit are greed, other misguided fears, and lack of awareness.

Greed is a fear of not having, or not having enough.  Lack of awareness is a way we try to protect ourselves from the many fears we have.

Is the Pay it Forward, Act of Kindness culture viable?

For me, yes.  The fact that I believe in the concept does not make me a good person or a bad person.  Nor does it give me any change in stature.  Nor will it do those things for you.

Do I benefit from it?  Absolutely.  Is the benefit real?  Tangible?  Intangible?  I felt good getting some of the stuff of my dreams in others hands.  Hands who may be able, in turn, to get them into use in the tangible world.

Did it get me a place to live?  Or an income?  (both urgent physical needs)

Nope.  Those are both valuable benefits as well, and I don't shirk my efforts in obtaining them.

However the moments yesterday had no less significance because my top two priorities were not immediately addressed.

Examine the concepts of Pay it Forward and Random Acts of Kindness.  Whether you choose to agree or disagree, the act of examination elevates your self awareness and I consider that a good thing. 

The point of this post since often times I'm abstruse?  The reward most often sought is to love ourself.  It's okay to love yourself.  It's okay to hold yourself in your own arms.

I feel good.

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