One of the best movies I ever saw was a movie about an elementary school aged kid called Pay It Forward. The teacher in this movie challenges his students to come up with a philanthropic plan and put it into effect. One of the students designs a “pay if forward” philosophy where you help out three people, or you perform three random acts of kindness for them. In an ideal world, you do these things and instead of having them try to help you back you tell them to pay if forward, just meaning to pass the good deeds to someone else. The idea is brilliant. Now the movie ends super tragic, but his idea carries on and in the movie it shows the people he helped passing it on, and it appears his idea ends up being incredible successful.
I dream of a day where something like this could happen. If you have ever been to a baseball game where they do the wave, it starts out with just a few people and generates some interest and within a few minutes the entire stadium is involved. That is how I picture pay it forward in real life. Now, you can’t always see the good deeds but that doesn’t mean they are not happening all around you.
For me, every time I hold the door for someone and they smile, I like to picture that maybe they did something nice for another person that day, and that person did something. Now, I have no real way of knowing that my small act of holding the door will create a better world, but I believe it will each time. I have seen a commercial where someone holds the door, that person then picks up something the person dropped, then that person pays for a person coffee and so on it goes. That is to me the perfect way to change this world. The perfect way to connect all of us! Again, this is living in an ideal world. I know these changes are not overnight, but I refuse to believe they are never going to happen.
My kids have done and will continue to do things that make me proud. They are really great kids. I’m super appreciative that someone or something decided to place these two humans into my life. They are complex and very simple at the same time. Just when you think you have them figured out they do something that surprises you. Both completely different in the way they handle life’s challenges. My kids will most likely run this world someday. I don’t say it because I’m their Dad; I say it because I truly believe it. And isn’t that one of the joys of raising kids, believing that they will be better than you. Believing in their dreams is important.
I cry all the time over the things they do, the dance performances, the cheer competitions, all the BIG things. But, what gives me the most hope or joy comes from the smallest of things. Like crossing the street with them and when a car lets us go they put their hand up and wave in thanks before I can. They do it without even thinking. My heart skips a beat when it happens. I have hope for the future and you should to. If your kids are anything like mine this world is in good hands.
The world is tough sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. We can’t change the world overnight, but we can try a little at a time.
Small acts lead to big changes. Hold the door for someone. Smile at them. Smiling is contagious. Pass that shit on.