Monday, October 3, 2011

Pay it forward-A small act of kindness can lead to big rewards

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Ten years ago I was living in Las Vegas and working for a small design firm. My partner in crime Deborah was an amazing woman that I really looked up to. She had an amazing memory for which I valued and honored greatly since my memory is pretty much non existent. But one of her greatest gifts she ever gave me was the gift of kindness. Her heart was the size of Texas, and she taught me that no one and I mean NO ONE was beneath me and everyone deserved a chance no matter their circumstances.

In Las Vegas it is common for the paper boy to sit on the corner of a residential neighborhood and hand out  papers on Sunday. Everyone knows that if they want a paper  they just drive around for a moment and they will find one. On one particular Sunday Deborah and I were working and it began to rain cats and dogs....a very rare occurrence in the desert.

We were in what was considered a lower economic location of Las Vegas when we noticed a boy walking in the rain with all his papers. Completely defeated because all his papers were ruined and he only makes money based on what he sells. Deborah raced over to him and told him to get in the car. She gave him forty dollars (three times more than the papers were worth). His clothes were tattered, the soles of his shoes gone and he looked as if he hadn't slept in days. She drove to McDonald's and bought the boy $10 dollars worth a food and then we drove him home.

Her generosity and big heart changed my life and allowed so much compassion into my life that I never knew I had. To this day I remember how happy the boy was, and how excited he was to meet this crazy lady with a fat wallet, and friends at McDonald's!

Deborah kept in touch with the boy over the years to make sure he stayed in school and made sure he stayed on track. She was notorious for doing this sort of thing. But because of Deborah's generosity the boy enrolled in UNLV five years ago and he is getting his masters in social work. Because of one chance encounter a child's life was changed and will influence those in his future.

Why is this significant? Often times we devalue ourselves and feel that we are not deserving or special. Many of us struggle to find our self worth. Deborah never felt that she was anything special, and refused to see how wonderful she was simply because she never graduated high school. An act that society told her was necessary to be valuable. But her one act of kindness changed the direction of someones life for the better, and that my friends is greater and more valuable than any diploma.

What will you do today to change the life of someone around you? How can you be of service to change someones life?

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