Remember the movie, Pay It Forward (2000) with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt? The one in which the teacher (Spacey) encourages his students to make the world a better place? By the way, in case you don’t know — as I didn’t — the movie is actually based on a book with the same title by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Anyway, in the book or the movie, one of his students actually comes up with a plausible plan: to pay it forward. In other words, if someone does you a kind deed, rather than paying it back, you pay it forward, to three new people.
Well, recently, my husband and I were recipients of a kind deed. We were out shopping for replacement steps to our hot tub; after 16 years, its wooden stairs had finally disintegrated. We looked at building them ourselves (cost: $50 plus, not to mention time and effort). Another store sold cedar steps for $100 — a bit pricey. At our final stop, the salesperson was showing us floor samples in hard plastic. Another customer spoke up and said, “I have three of those at home; if you want one, just follow me home and you can have one.” At first, we weren’t certain he was serious and we didn’t want to appear cheap. But even the sales guy offered, “Well, you can’t beat a deal like that!” So, we followed him home, got the steps and offered to pay him. His reply: “Just do something nice for someone else.” Translation: pay it forward.
So, I’m still looking for ways to do just that. Though I’m not quite ready to donate a kidney, I am hoping some random act of kindness will make itself blatantly obvious. In the meantime, if you know of a need — please let me know. I need to forward some payments.