Thursday, November 03, 2011

Paying it Forward

I'll start with my FB post from yesterday evening:
"Someone gave me a scratch ticket as a gift today because I helped them with their computer - apparently saved a bunch of work they were super worried about...well, the good news is, that scratch ticket was a 1 in 28,800 victory worth $200! I'm gonna pay it forward a bit and do something nice for a friend."

I'd have written about this in yesterday's post but yesterday's post was set on auto pilot so I let it be. It's very rare to have a windfall and while this isn't a huge amount of money, as was the case any other time cash fell into my lap, but I have tried to make a concerted effort to pay it forward.

A couple of years ago, it was super easy. I had a few tickets to a ball game and auctioned them off yielding $501 from a pair of tickets that I paid under $100 for. So, I donated the entire $501 to Katrina Relief in New Orleans and it  felt great to do it.

Not to long after that, won a $200 gift card for Home Depot. I went to home depot and exchanged it for two $100 gift cards - I kept one for myself and gave the other to a friend who had just bought a house. The reaction was so great - I love just that type of happiness and appreciation that can only come from someone who genuinely appreciates nice gestures (though it always saddens me a little that such niceties are so rare).

There was a time when a friend of mine won a gift card and we were all excited and cheered her on. A few days later, I received a really sweet thank you card from her along with that gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was overwhelmed because I didn't think I did anything that I wouldn't do for any of my friends but the gift card was so perfectly timed as well as I was eyeing something I couldn't afford to buy until that card came along.

I believe in the whole paying it forward idea - not just with money but in general. My whole philosophy on teaching and education is based on the the idea of paying it forward and while it isn't always the easiest thing to do, it always feels good.

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