As I sit here, reviewing the past posts of my blog (although, they may be few, most of them are long), I notice that I do an awful lot of time telling you guys why things are bad, and not why they are good or how they are good. This is a blog post that I have been meaning to do for quite a while, but have been sleeping just about every day for the last two weeks due to a severe sinus infection that I just couldn’t shake. As I write this post, I’m going to put something in parenthesis after each sentence that has or requires something that I take for granted daily that has allowed me to do whatever was mentioned in the aforementioned sentence. The first one is going to be the ability to write on my blog to let out my frustrations. (I have a fairly beastly computer that allows me to do whatever I want on it without giving it much thought, as well as the ability to understand the web to be able to set up and configure my blog without paying someone to do it for me).
I left work (a part-time job that both brings in some steady income, as well as being a part of my therapeutic recovery, which is a HUGE help to my daily life) about a month ago I had just left work after working a 9 hour shift to cover gaps from our staff being unreliable. It was a late weekday and I needed to craft Valentine’s card boxes for both of my sons’ which were needed the next day. It was late and stores were closing up. Where I work, we don’t carry duct tape, which is what I needed. I travelled a mere few blocks with relative ease. (Thanks to my 2012 Cruze and 2007 Commander). I go through the store and gather what I need. (Thanks to being in decent health, despite stomach problems and depression. My physical movements are alive and well). They ended up having multiple colors of tape so I grabbed some black, and pink and went to the cashier. As I stand in line at the cashier, there is one woman in front of me. Approximately my age, carrying a toddler in one arm and clinging on to a slightly older boy with the other. Both of whom, you could tell, were sick and very congested. She is discussing with the clerk about how she is going to pay for the medicines that she has on the counter because she doesn’t have enough on her. The total is a mere eight dollars, and some change. She then goes out to her car to scavenge the seats for change to acquire enough to be able to purchase the items. I buy my items, and as I gather them up to walk out, I slide the cashier a ten dollar bill and tell him to give her what she needs and not to mention anything about me. I didn’t do it for the recognition, I did it to pay-it-forward. The cashier thanked me on her behalf and I went home to my family. (A house that I am able to work on and add an addition to with very little help thanks to the knowledge I gleaned from working with my father – additionally, I house that I own and can afford to pay for thanks to my knowledge to work for myself, as well as my part-time job).
Why tell you this? Why is this important? You see, in that moment, I realized, as low as I EVER got in life, and as poor as I ever considered myself, not ONCE have I EVER had to scavenge for change to buy medicine for my sick family or myself. Not ONCE have I had to worry about not being able to buy clothes, shoes, or food. Not once have I had to worry about utility bills being shut off from lack of payment (except when I forget to pay a bill 😛 ). Not once has one of my animals needed to suffer because I couldn’t buy food or give them the “maintenance” in which they need. This moment was the time where I realized the small victories that I have been focusing on (which is still helping with my anxiety/depression) are just a tiny piece of what my life is blessed with. My perception of my own life was, and probably continues to be, jaded. I wasn’t looking at all the things in parenthesis as victories. I was considering them necessities, which they aren’t. It’s surprising how much this single incident has changed my perspective on my day to day thought process. I’m more optimistic and thankful for the things I have.
Now, why tell you about paying-it-forward? Simply because that is, and always has been, how I try to lead my life. When I can positively affect someone’s life, why shouldn’t I? When I can help someone when they are down, why shouldn’t I? There will be a time when I need someone to blindly help me out, and I know that when that time comes, that person or those people will be there for me. Whether you call it paying it forward, what goes around – comes around, or just plain karma, think about how someone has it worse than you. Going through the fast-food restaurant? Pay for the car behind you. Guy in front of you a couple dollars short? Hand him some to cover it. Random acts of kindness are something that everyone in this world should embrace. It would build a foundational system that allows us to rely on each other, rather than fear each other. It would build a foundation that would improve the quality of living for many people in the world. It would improve the humanity morale worldwide.
Having said all that, I’m not your boss, or your parent, so obviously you don’t have to do what I say. There is nothing binding you to my train of thought, and to those of you that disagree, you are welcome to it. I just ask that you consider not letting “The Chain of Love” end with you. (For the country music haters – deal with it 😛 )