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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paying It Forward

My eight year-old daughter is the sweetest person I know.  She's been wanting to bake cookies for an elderly lady down the street for quite a long time.  We have never met this lady...we don't even know her name.  It's not that we're not friendly neighbors, we are.  I mean, as houses got built up around us, we brought freshly made cannoli to welcome some of our new neighbors, along with our share of housewarming plants.  But this neighbor was already here when we moved in eight years ago, and we never seem to run into her when we're outside.

The other day I surprised the kids with warm, baked cookies as they got home from school and we had several LARGE extra cookies.  I finally let my daughter do what she wanted to do.  We wrapped three of the large cookies up with pretty red plastic wrap, put a little ribbon around them, and off she went.

Initially, she came back disappointed as the lady's phone had rang at the same time she was knocking and the woman didn't answer the door.  At my daughters request, I let her try again a short time later.  This time she came back after being gone about 15 minutes -- skipping up the driveway with a huge smile on her face.  The exchange she had with the lady immensely brightened my daughters day.  Just like I am sure it brightened the woman's day.

I saw my daughters "To-Do" list sitting on her bureau last night as I tucked her into bed.  Item #2 was to visit the lady again.  It looks like she's made a friend.

I think sometimes we need to behave like eight year olds.  No, I'm not talking about running around in mismatched clothes and eating sugary cereals for breakfast (ok, if you really want to!)...But so often we say we're too busy to do for others, but is what we're doing really always that important?  It only takes a few minutes.

I'm convinced it really is the little gestures like this that elevate a day into a much more special experience.  It doesn't take much and doesn't have to be grand, but it does create a ripple effect of happiness. Not just to the person you do it for and the person they do it for, but it has an AMAZING way of making your day special as well!  :-)

What's on your list today to pay it forward?

1 comment:

  1. Great job Colleen! What a beautiful message you and your daughter shared with us all! Thinking about others, doing something nice for someone always makes us skip with happiness doesn't it? Yes, maybe as we get older some of us do the skipping in our minds instead of with our feet. What a beautiful reminder that a great way to our mind off of our own troubles/worries is find a way to be of service to another! Thank you for such an uplifting reminder!