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Help Me Pay it Forward

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posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 06:28 AM
What is Pay it Forward?

Pay it Forward
Definition: the act of voluntarily helping another without expectation of payback

This was a movie from a few years ago with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt & Haley Joel Osmont. Great movie, great story, check it out if you have not already.

Pay It Forward

This thread may need to be moved, but we'll see how it goes.

Here is my proposal to the Members of ATS

Would you like to help me Pay It Forward?

These are very small and simple acts of generosity to complete strangers with no intention of that person repaying the favor to you.

Often we run into strangers that may cross us because they are having a bad day, we can allow that to ruin our day, or make an effort to help that person in some small way without them even noticing it.

I frequently offer change to those who might be slightly short, or allow someone to jump ahead of me in the grocery line at the check outs. Nothing big, just a small act of generosity.

These can span from something this small, or something much larger. It is your decision to make how far you want to go with this.

I'll begin with my first story of Paying it forward that happened a few weeks ago. I entered KFC to pick up a burger and I walked over to grab some utensils before placing my order. By the time I returned to the line up, a younger individual had entered and taken my spot in the line up. He was aware of this, but seemed to be having a rough day and honestly couldn't care less of how it affected me.

I shook it off, even though it really urked me. Well as he made his order, he pulled out the debit card to pay for his food. This took awhile, he had a few Insufficient Funds pop up or even that he put in the wrong information. After a few times of failing, his food was on the counter and he was growing more and more embarrassed. After about 4 or 5 times of sliding his card with no success, he began to turn and walk out of the store with his head between his toes.

I quickly signaled to the worker behind the counter that I would help out and she yelled to the man to take the food, that the card finally worked. He walked out scractching his head, wasn't sure if the girl behind the counter gave him a freebie or if someone in the line up had covered him.

He didn't ask, we didn't tell.

When it came time for me to make my purchase, his tab was dropped on time of mine and we both left happy that day. I felt better for helping someone out, and he left with his food and dignity.

Not everybody is going to do this, and it should not be expected of everyone to do this. But I think those of us who have something to spare, should help out those who could use it. Even if it is only a small act of generosity, every little bit helps.

Does anyone else have a story to share? How about becoming inspired and when you find yourself in a situation where you could help, we take the initiative and lend a helping hand.

This may flop, this may take off. But I plan to continue to pay it forward and share my stories with anyone who wants to listen.

I'd love to hear your stories.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 06:46 AM
That is so nice,, Chissler....
Its just like i picture you.

I've done similar things in the past, and i always carry change someplace on me just in case someone is short at the register. In todays world it is nice to be able to give a little if someone is in need. Some have done it for me too.
I'll never forget being in a strange place, a strange hospital, because my son had developed a condition of some kind, without money. The staff would not let me use their precious phone, and i went to the public phone located in the main lobby.
I fumbled with my purse and could not find 25 cents to call my family. I stood by the phone and cried..
Suddenly from far away, a door opened up and several people came rushing out....a African-American, held something up in my direction from far away. As she approached me, it was the shinniest quarter i'd ever seen in my life.
I grabbed it and thanked her, and there was no expession on her face. I think this falls in with the paranormal, but in any case, i was helped and i was able to place my call.
Ever since, i've always tried to be there to help, if possible.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 07:08 AM
My story is somewhat similar...

I was in a grocery store late at night (not the one I work at...shhhh, don't tell my boss), getting some milk and bread, and this couple, young kids really, with triplets in a stroller had what turned out to be about 60 dollars worth of food, and another 100 dollars worth of diapers, formula, and assorted baby stuff...none of which is cheap. Apparently, they had forgotten their check about embarrassed
, the husband was appologizing so profusely to the checkout kid, the wife was nearly in tears. Next thing I know I'm telling the checker to put it on my bill as I was next in line, then two other people who were in line for the same reason I was (bread and milk) each handed me money...the looks on the faces of those two kids was priceless...

Great thread, Chissler.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 08:01 AM

You get a WATS not in the normal way, for what you said, but for what you did.

You have voted chissler for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Whether or not that kid ever pays it forward is not as important to me as the fact that you made his obviously lousy day a whole lot better. And you did it with class.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 09:57 AM
The catch with paying it forward is that your not looking for a pat on the back.

So I thank everyone for their kind words, but it really is not necessary.

I've found myself in situations where I needed help, and recieved it from complete strangers. I've also had the latter where someone could of helped but didn't. They are no less of a person for not helping because they too could be in a position of need without us picking up on it.

I can honestly say, helping a complete stranger for absolutely no reason is one of the greatest feelings a person can feel.

Going out and looking for these situations doesn't exactly work, they have to find you. Just be sharp enough to understand it when its looking you in the face.

It was about six months ago when something happened to me that still has me ashamed, and also has me committed to never allowing it to happen again. My girlfriend and I were leaving the theatre, it was shortly after midnight. A stranger who was very rugged looking approached me and asked for some change. I had not seen him coming, and to be honest he scared the beegee's out of me. Before I realized what had happened, I answered no and kept walking.

For twenty minutes on the drive home I was pounding my head off the steering wheel for not being polite enough to answer the man. Startled or not, I couldn't help but imagine how bad I made the man feel.

Ever since I have always offered change, most times before they could ask me personally. If I noticed a man asking someone else for change, I would approach and offer some.

An elder lady who is struggling to make it through another trip to the grocery store, I always offer her my spot in the lineup and say I am willing to help with the lifting. I'm in my early twenties, I can afford a few minutes out of my day for someone who is struggling with something I take for granted.

So like I said above, I would love to hear our members stories of people who helped them or who they may of helped.

I have thought about it and I do feel this fits in our Social Issues forum, but if a Mod feels it should be moved then by all means go for it.

to the above members for their thoughts and actions.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 11:22 AM
Chissler, I love how you give things deep thought using your integrity and your intelligence. I'm so glad you started this thread. It was a wonderful movie and ever since I saw it, I've been trying to live the Pay It Forward philosophy. I have a theory taht violence is contagious, i.e. when a person experiences some form of violence, it engenders violence in them. But I think the same also holds true for random acts of kindness. Paying It Forward spreads kindness and hopefully encourages others to do the same.

Several years ago, I'd had a very bad day and was driving home, going thru the toll booth. When I got to the toll booth, I realized I was so broke I didn't have enough money to pay the toll. The toll booth guy waved me thru and said "Dont worry about it". It turned my whole day around. Another time going thru the same toll booth, I got to the booth to pay my fee and the guy told me that the car ahead of me had already paid. So whenever I had the money, I would pay for the car behind me when I went thru the toll. Small things maybe, but they can change your whole day around.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 11:29 AM
I haven't seen the movie, so to me "paying it forward" seems kind of awkward, but of course, the concept is very old and has had many names, like "pass it along," or "that's what friends are for," or "my good deed for the day." Ford Motors is calling such gestures "bold moves" in their latest commercials.

It's just the kind of philosophy that makes the world a better place and gives some respite from the "dog eat dog," "me first" mentality that we encounter all too often.

[edit on 2006/10/4 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 11:48 AM
Dog Eat Dog

Survival of the Fittest

These are good quotes, and alot of people live by them. But what about when your the one who is down on both knees and looking for help? Figuratively speaking of course.

forestlady, that is exactly what I am talking about. Having a horrible day, that is about to get so much worse since your short a few cents on a toll booth. A complete stranger, for absolutely no reason gives you the break you need to turn your day around.

I too like to think that no good deed goes unnoticed. Even though your not directly benefitting from the deed, you can take comfort in knowing someone else out there might be.

Its amazing how much of a difference we can make, for a slight gesture we may not even be aware of.

I'll tell another story that close to my heart.

As I have said on this board before, just before my high school graduation my step-father passed away. I moved in with my grandmother and kind of started to slide downhill. School was no concern, stayed out at night and began to get into drugs alittle more than I should. My school work was nobodys concern, and I felt I didn't matter so why would I bother.

One night I came home and was walking to my bedroom, when my grandmother had made a point to stay up and make sure I had prepared for my upcoming exams and see if I had completed any homework. Howard, (step-father) was always the family member who cared about my school work. So after he died, it was never acknowledged. The fact she had taken a moment to make sure I was still doing alright in school, sent me into a tail spin of tears. This little gesture left a huge impact on me, and still does today.

After his death I had alot of issues, so the smallest thing could of set me off in any direction. But this small thing my grandmother did one night, made me realize the mistakes I was making and how important my school was.

I like the theme behind the movie Crash.

It shows how much we can impact the life of a complete stranger, without even knowing it.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 12:40 PM
Chiss, and all the others that can selflessly give of themselves, certainly have my admiration.

I too help out folks in need whenever I can, but I always figure that somehow it helps my karma, so that is not true selfless giving. Of course my karma needs all the help it can get to make up for the greedy, egotistical, unloving, manipulative, and just general jerk I used to be.

It's progress not perfection!!!

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 01:01 PM
Great thread, Chissler!

I went into Wal-Mart recently (yes, I shop there
) and there was a man offering to work for food. He had a small mongrel of a pup beside him along with his bag of belingings. While in the store, along with my items, I got a bag of puppy food, several chew treats and a stuffed squeaky toy and a hard chew toy. (I know how teething puppies are.) I stuffed a $20 bill in the chew toy and on my way out, I handed the bag of goodies to him out the window of my car and drove off.

I love doing things like this. And this thread reminds me to do it again at the very next opportunity. Thanks! I'm getting a new puppy in a couple of weeks and I'm seriously thinking of training him to be a Therapy Dog to visit elderly people.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 01:27 PM
I'll be more than happy to help your cause, Chissler! I love doing things like that. I get all choked up and feel so great when I help someone out. I wish there were more people out there that did that.

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 01:35 PM
BH, great story!

The smile on my face right now almost hurts.

posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 09:32 PM
As I have dedicated myself to this profession of helping, I'm not going to relate any stories of myself, but rather an incident I became a part of a few years ago.

I was sitting in a quaint little restaurant in Annapolis eating a sandwich, alone as is my fashion most of the time, when I noticed people starting to get up with their plates and move outside. Now it was a beautiful spring day and normally this would not be unusual, except it was the majority of the people in the place. Now being the curious type, I of course got up and taking my plate, joined them.

When I got outside it immediately became apparent what had transpired. Some kind soul had bought a dinner for one of the homeless that frequent that area and the staff of the restaurant would not let the man in to eat as he was somewhat dirty and unkempt. So, the kind soul picked his and his wife's plate up and went out to sit with the man while he enjoyed his meal. Seeing this, several of the patrons joined them and then more until finally there were only three people left inside.

I met some pretty interesting people that day.


posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 05:58 AM

If i had to pick the nicest person i know, (or virtually know) it would be you!

You are awesome and an asset to this world and ATS.

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 08:57 AM
That, Semper, is without a doubt, one of the coolest stories I've heard in a looong, loong time.

Incidents like that give you hope for the future...

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 10:42 AM
It's reassuring to here that there are people out there who do still care about others

to you all!!

I suppose I should relay a heartwarming story of my own..

I was out with the (then) girlfriend at Pizza Hut in town and as is customary, ordered far too much food. When it came to leaving, the staff boxed up the remaining Pizza's for me to take home.

Walking back through town on this Friday night (not usually a good time to be in town, with the obvious amount of alcohol being consumed), I came across a couple of beggars sitting by wall asking for change.

Obviously, most people were far too drunk to care about helping and most just offered verbal abuse.

As it came to my turn to walk past, the chaps asked me for change.

Now, I do not usually give change to the Homeless, as I feel they inevitably use it to buy alcohol/drugs which doesn't exactly help them. All I did was hand over the large pizza box I was carrying. The chap looked at me funny, then looked at the box, thinking it was a joke. I told him to open it and the look on his face was priceless. He couldn't believe someone handed over the equivalent of an entire large pizza.

At least, I thought to myself, he'll have a full belly, rather than a pickled liver. Now, I know this was hardly anonymous help, as initially mentioned, but I suppose throwing the pizza from across the road might end up hurting someone...

Even now, whenever some obviously downtrodden homeless chap (as opposed to the types who come into town from the council estates on the scrounge) asks for change, I'll still try and give them a sandwhich or a hot drink. Costs nothing really and you'd hope someone would do the same for you if the situation was reversed.

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 11:09 AM

Originally posted by dgtempe

If i had to pick the nicest person i know, (or virtually know) it would be you!

You are awesome and an asset to this world and ATS.

Ahh I'm sure some would disagree but I sleep great at night.

Thank you DG.

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 12:37 PM
I was getting a few dollars (my last few) worth of gas at a Shell station and on a fluke I spent another dollar on a lottery ticket. I went outside and scratched it and it was a 100.00 winner. I went back in to cash it in and there was a man paying for two dollars worth of gas. I told the clerk to put 10.00 more in for him as I was in the same situation a few minutes before winning the ticket.

I felt good doing that, and am not posting to pat myself on the back, but I did feel good inside to help someone who I didn't know and I was still 90.00 ahead!

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 03:11 PM
I have a brand new story, something that happened this weekend. We recently lost the neighbors who feed our animals when we're gone. Well we had plans to go out of town this past weekend and, hesitantly, asked the man down the street if he would mind feeding my horse while I was gone. I told him I would pay his son, Tyler, $15 if he did. My neighbor, Marvin, agreed to do it cheerfully.

When I got back this afternoon I ran into Marvin and his son. I profusely thanked them both and then Marvin said to me, "We were proud to do it" meaning that he was honored that we had trusted he and his son to take care of my horse. It was such a gracious thing and then Marvin's son thanked me, as if I'd given him some great treasure. I was so amazed at their attitude of cheerfully helping others and at their graciousness. I thought what a great way to be about helping others. It warmed my heart immensely.

posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 03:49 PM
Sometime ago a bum approached me and asked me for 5 bucks so he could go buy some shotgun shells to shoot his wife with. Naturally this piqued my intrest!
And upon further questioning of the "down and outer" I subsequently learned that he was'nt married and never had been, but that was a story he had concocted to win favor with the men he hit up for money. Imagine how relieved I felt when he confessed that my 5 spot was going to used to buy wine and a tamale from the 7/ll.

I know this isn't nearly as heart warming a story as others have posted but in some obscure, bizarre way I feel that I "payed it forward" some, not a lot maybe, but some.

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