Sunday, October 16, 2011

Be Nice

Have you ever been driving through a toll crossing only to find that the person in front of you had mysteriously paid for you? Have you ever found an Itunes card in your mailbox with a note that said, “listen to something that makes you smile”? Has a kind person ever offered to put your shopping cart back after emptying your groceries? Have you ever found flowers on your doorstep or a note on your car that said, “Have the BEST day, you deserve it!” How cool would it be if anyone of these things happened to you? Wouldn’t it just make your day?

I know it would, but I honestly think what would make your day even more awesome would be if you were the person performing all these wonderful acts of kindness. It’s called paying it forward and it’s good for the soul. It’s also good for the world because if today, every single person did something nice for someone else, than every single person would also have had something nice done for them. Even if you don’t believe me, and you think that the world is unfair and no one takes care of you so why should you take care of others. Well, I’m sorry that life has been so sour for you and while I run the risk of making you cringe, we all know that sour lemonade just needs a little sugar, so sweeten up and take a sip.

There is a fabulous woman named Patience Salgado who makes her life work into paying it forward.

She leaves Starbucks gift cards on park benches, on the first day of school she writes chalk messages on the sidewalk “don’t be shy, were all new friends”, she sticks free ice cream coupons into backpacks at the department store (just waiting for someone to get a happy surprise). She and her kids will even do guerilla missions, ringing the doorbell of a stranger and dashing but not without leaving behind some flowers.

Here’s an excerpt about my favorite of her escapades from Oprah magazine:

But her work isn't all sweetness and cheerful slogans. Last year, when a hate group announced plans to picket local Jewish and LGBT organizations, Salgado helped found Pennies in Protest, urging residents to donate to the organizations being targeted. In one week, they raised nearly $14,000. (She also sent the hate group a note to thank them for inspiring such generosity.)

Come on, how amazing is that?

I propose that this week we all try and do a little paying it forward. Like the cheesy bumper sticker says, Let’s all practice, Random Acts of Kindness”. My hope is that you all become addicted. If you do end up trying something out, let me hear about it. Hopefully you can help inspire other readers! If you're not sure where to start, check out this list.