[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]ODAY, April 28, 2016, is Pay It Forward Day. You might not even realize it, because it isn’t advertised on television, I haven’t seen one billboard, and nobody has handed me a flyer proclaiming a day of the year set aside to Pay-It-Forward. Here’s why I think that’s the way it should be. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we practiced kindness every day, just because we can?
You know, the Pay It Forward concept may have been birthed when the movie by that same title came out in 2000, but the secular movie simply advocated for actions deeply rooted in ancient Biblical principles.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. – Proverbs 3:27
Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. – Luke 6:31
Are any of you wise or understanding? Then show it by your conduct, doing good deeds, and by being humble and wise in everything you do. – James 3:13
Here’s the thing. Without roots, nothing grows. Without roots there are no feeding channels to distribute nutrients. Without roots, stability is lost. Roots are like the anchor for life. But here’s another thing about roots, well, most roots anyway – they are tangled, messy, deep, and hidden. That’s a little inside view of our lives, isn’t it? If all we had were roots, there wouldn’t be much to look at and there would be even less to enjoy. Think about a landscape with nothing special to look at, even though there was energy, nutrients, and incredible potential living under the surface.
Instead, creation gives us thousands of different trees all with unique bark and leaves. Scientist tell us there are over 400,000 species of flowering plants. Then add vegetables and fruits – and that’s life. Pay It Forward is as old as creation. What we plant, grows roots. What is at the root grows fruit and it isn’t just one root for one fruit. The fruit of the root is multiplied many times. A single seed, grows by dividing itself, then bursts forth arrayed in beautiful color. You might remember a parable in the Bible about seed that fell on good ground and grew prolifically. “A few seeds fell on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered.”
This story is more than a lesson in botany though. It’s a life lesson. We are like those resilient, magnificent seeds. What we put into our minds goes deep into our souls, the root of ourselves. What we display to the world through attitude and actions grows from our roots. We live best when we feed our roots nutrients of positive thought, integrity, truth, knowledge, hope, love, and sound character. Unless you live in a cave, the fruit of the roots you have nurtured will show up in all the places that matter. Home, work, school, church, waiting in line at the store, pumping gas in the pouring rain, being patient when the food you ordered is all wrong or when the car ahead of you won’t get out of your lane.
The fruit of your roots shows up in compassion, generosity, creative giving, donating money, listening, praying, sharing, volunteering time – and for each of them, there are opportunities right now within your family and somewhere in your community or circle of friends. Take a moment right now to concentrate on the simple concept of Pay It Forward.
What could you do today and in the days that follow to show kindness to others? Remember, kindness isn’t opening your wallet, it’s opening your heart. Sometimes, you might be able to pay for an entire meal at a restaurant, other times you can let a family with a very large grocery order go ahead of you at the grocery store. Sometimes you can volunteer an entire weekend of respite care for a family under hospice; other times you can offer 2 hours of babysitting so a young mom can have some alone time. Sometimes you can buy a Starbucks card and leave it for the next person who drives up to the gas pump; other times you can offer a cup of coffee and friendship in your own kitchen. You see for every act there are options – and there are opportunities all around us to share kindness – we choose.
If you see someone without a smile, share yours.
This is Pay It Forward Day. Reading this article might be your only clue that there is a designated day to perform an act of kindness without expecting anything in return. We don’t need a designated day. What we need is a mindset that reminds us to pour into others, the food of human kindness so it goes down deep into their roots and produces “a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much”.
Carefully guard your thoughts and your heart because everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Today, tomorrow, next month, next year and in the years to come:
[bctt tweet=”Start where you are or start over – never stop feeding the roots of human kindness by pouring from your own fruit into the hearts of others.” username=”bizmastersglobal”]
We shared some easy ideas to Pay It Forward here: