Today is pay it forward day.
I love the idea of pay it forward. Someone does something for you. You, in turn, do something for someone else and the movement keeps going. It is a lovely concept.
What I’m not fond of (opinion piece) is the online promotion of these acts of kindness.
Am I the only one who wonders why someone films themselves giving to the poor?
Or the motive behind the Facebook status “I just paid the coffee of someone behind me in line.”
In a world where it seems normal to post about what you had for dinner. Where we have this need to feel validated by acquaintances in an online community, it makes sense. But why are we giving? Or paying it forward? There is the argument that even if we are giving for people to notice and say “Wow. He’s good people. Look how he gives back.” We are still giving and that is a good thing. This is true. I would rather that than no giving at all.
With me writing this blog post it may be looking for the same validation. Like I’m the Pay it Forward, giving queen. Which I assure you I am not. I could do more and strive to.
But what is at the heart of our giving? Is it to give for the sake of giving? Is it to add joy to someone’s life? Unexpected joy? Do we not receive 10 fold when we simply give back? Or is it important for us to let everyone else know what we have done?
I would like to introduce you to #QAK. "Quiet Acts of Kindness"
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite – I have tried to incorporate #QAK into my life. It has been part of my "Year of Honour" Honouring those around me. Each week I write the Acronym in my day timer. I make sure that I have filled it in with something that I’ve done for someone else by the end of the week. I’m hardly changing the world. But I am trying in my small way to give back. To those I love. To strangers. To friends I hold dear. It makes me feel good. I hope in some way to have brightened the day of someone else. But that’s where it ends. Except for mentioning it here – which does seem hypocritical, I’ll admit – I stay quiet. The act stands for itself. There is no ego attached to it. No need to be glorified.
So I encourage you to incorporate #QAK into your life. What can you do – quietly – to pay it forward? Without the fanfare. Without the hoopla. A simple quiet act of kindness for the sake of being kind. Be it
- sending a card to a dear friend.
- a casserole for someone who is ill.
- flowers to a friend.
- chatting to a homeless person like they were your neighbour.
- giving some food to someone who is homeless.
- bringing a treat to the office just because.
- writing a note to your child or spouse.
- giving a large tip to a grumpy server
There are so many things we can do for others that are simple and quiet. I would love to start a #QAK movement. And instead of posting details of what we’ve done we simply post #QAK. End of story. Now that would be great, wouldn’t it?
What other ideas for #QAK do you have? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Together we can change the world one Quiet Act of Kindness at a time. This world could use more kindness don't you think?