May 27th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 21
Paying it Forward
Rick's Corner
It should come as no surprise when I admit to you all that I’ve never been one to learn anything the easy way. For whatever reason, I feel the need to test everything out for myself. One of the few exceptions to this however, was the act of ‘paying it forward.’ For those of you that have never heard this expression before, it’s the idea that, instead of directly paying someone back for their help, you repay the favour forward to someone else in need instead. The concept itself seems easy enough to grasp but for me it was a little more difficult to put into practice.
My confusion began with wondering why I would pay someone else back instead of the person who actually helped me. I knew that if I went out of my way to help somebody, I would probably take offence to it if they didn’t acknowledge it somehow. I would case build in my head wondering when I’d get some recognition or payback for my efforts and eventually get upset about it. So, to prevent this from happening I just never bought into this theory.
However, as we all know, life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need, when you need it, in order for you evolve. In my case, it came to me at one of the weakest and most depraved moments of my life.
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At the peak of my addiction when I was penniless and homeless, starving and exhausted from the months I had just spent on a bender, came an old friend to help me in my time of need. He took me out for dinner and coffee and discarded all other obligations that he had that day to help me off the street and into a recovery house. At the end of the day he took me to a meeting and hooked me up with new clothes and a personal hygiene kit. Before he left I turned to him with a tear in my eye and asked how I could ever repay him for all his help. He turned to me and said, “Clean up… do your best and when you’re better pay it forward.”
Three months later, being clean and sober, I found myself in the exact same situation only this time on the other side. I finally had the chance to do for someone what was once done for me and jumped at the chance to help him.
I can’t describe the overwhelming feeling of pride and joy that I felt at the end of that day and finally understood what it was all about. Paying it forward creates more harmony within your soul and throughout the universe than anything else I’ve experienced. My initial hesitancy towards it only reflected my selfish reasons to help people. Basically, it’s because I always wanted something in return for my help.
Take it from me, paying it forward takes a selflessness that is rewarded tenfold and says more about your character than anything else I can compare. The next time you help someone, tell them to pay it forward and see for yourself how just how far a simple gesture can go.
May 27th ~ Vol. 85 No. 21
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