>Pay It Forward?

>Does anyone else think the idea of “pay it forward” is kinda demeaning? Am I the only one? Is the idea of doing a good deed so gone out the window that we need gold stars to tell us to do a good deed and show off that we’ve done it?

Somebody told me this story about how this random dude came up to her and asked if he could carry her bag. She let him, something at which I was a little surprised given the area of town she said she was in, and then he handed her a “pay it forward” card. Basically he said “I did a good deed for you, now you do something for someone else.”

So let me get this straight. This system is assuming that without this handy dandy little card, I will be a prick. I need to be reminded to do a good deed for someone, in the same way that I have to remind myself to pick up milk at the grocery store or drop off my library books. Doing a good deed has become a chore. I won’t just see the opportunity to do something nice and do it.

Last night, I held the door for a woman and her daughter who were running through the rain trying to get inside. Why? Because I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn’t have a good deed card. I just heard them coming and thought it would sure be nice to be getting in out of the rain sooner rather than later, so I held the door. The other day, I heard a couple of people wandering around wondering where a certain bus was. I told them and gave them directions. I didn’t need a card. I just know how confusing the buses are, so figured I could help. I’m not trying to brag. I’m just trying to emphasize that people shouldn’t need some kind of obligation system to do good things for others. Shouldn’t it simply feel good to do something nice for someone? Or are those days gone? If so, what a sad state of affairs. I have been helped out by random strangers and haven’t been handed “pay it forward” cards, so I guess I can take from that that there is hope.

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