This is why it is important for us to decide on our values and work on showing the people around us some kindness. While there are some people who appear to be called in the area of helping others and they do huge things that make us feel a little useless, there are still many small ways that we can spread some cheer and change a stranger’s day.
I guess the typical excuses for not reaching out would include the obvious, ‘I’m too busy’. We are rushing around in a whirlwind, stretched in all directions between work, family and fitness. Who has time to worry about the man on the street?
What about our smart phones? They also take up a huge amount of our attention, and allow us to avoid seeing the things that make us feel uncomfortable around us.
Fortunately, this philosophy of ‘paying it forward’ is starting to turn the tide – and cell phones are part of the solution here, because tales of generosity are spreading like wild fire.
What Is ‘Paying It Forward’?
This is a reference to the title phrase of the book by Catherine Ryan Hyde. In the book the phrase is used as the opposite of payback: when someone does a good dead for you, instead of paying them back, pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else. ~ Urban Dictionary
Here are some examples of hugely kind-hearted people at work around us right now. Paying it forward in ways that are starting to change the world.
In South Africa it is quite evident that you are either rich, or you are poor. Many people don’t know what to do or how to help the poor and homeless. This is why, in 2014, in collaboration with the Haven Night Shelter, the Street Store was born as an effective way to involve the community in caring for the less fortunate.
The Street Store is described as the world’s first rent-free, premise-free, free pop-up store for the homeless. People are called on social media to pay it forward and donate items of clothing and shoes that get hung up tastefully on cardboard posters shaped as coat-hangers on the street. The homeless are then invited to shop, choosing the clothes that they actually like, that actually fit and that they actually want! We all see how homeless people are simply given clothes that have holes in them or simply don’t fit. Beggars can’t be choosers right? Well, not in this case. For many, the Street Store offered these individuals their first dignified shopping experience.
The Street Store received international recognition almost immediately and went viral. Because homelessness is an international problem, they opened their sources worldwide allowing anyone, anywhere in the world to start their own Street Store. This has captured the hearts of many, as it is simple to see how a straightforward action can directly benefit someone. There is no confusion, no worry that you will be duped in some way, or that a third party will somehow take a proportion of your offering. This method is transparent, which appeals to people who feel cynical about charities.
If you would like to know more about this idea, or get involved, you can find out more here.
Copyright © 2002-2013. All rights reserved