To give more is to get more but what does ‘more’ mean for you? For some it is the idea of giving money to charity, for others it is their time and expertise to say local community efforts such as GAA clubs, Scouts, Youth Clubs, visits to the elderly. Paying it forward is a well-known concept, one which has its own movie! I believe we can start with smaller gestures, ones which can leave a positive impact and perhaps influence a ripple passing on.
We all lead busy lives today and as our lives increase in complexity, intensity and speed while decreasing in time available to us, it is easy to get lost in our own bubble of busy. This does come at a cost, sometimes not too expensive but at other times at great expense to the values we hold dear to our core self. What instead of adding ‘Paying it Forward’ to our never ending To Do List, we chose the small moments of our day to give a little back and get more added to our sense of well-being which honours who we truly are? Sounds a little more attainable? So how do we weave giving back to get more or paying it forward into to our daily activities with a sense of effortless habit.
Take the scenario of a shop interaction, many is a time I have arrived at a counter with a smile for the shop assistant to pay for my items only to be greeted by a grumpy face and lethargic energy. I deliberately choose to see that person, look them in the eye, say hello and sadly this is often reacted to with surprise particularly when I accompany it with a smile. However by end of our interaction, just from making an effort to see the person and smile, it has moved from a lethargic effort to one with a little more energy and a smile of goodbye. Not always, but enough times that it encourages me to stay true to my chosen course of interaction. Sometimes it is how we interact with other human beings that is the paying it forward, seeing the person, saying hello, respecting them through our words and actions. Small gestures of hello, please, thank you, goodbye can be so powerful when accompanied by a smile and eye contact.
These small gestures can be made daily with deliberate intent with those around us in coffee shops, with family, friends, work colleagues, strangers on the street, the humans we interact every day. By respecting and seeing them as whole humans, as people and not just things passing us by, we can give back and get more as we are honouring our core selves and values in how we treat people. It starts with ourselves, honouring our values in how we treat ourselves firstly which enables us to pay it forward authentically in tune with who we are and how we want to be experienced. So while we can give back in so many ways, big and small, daily deliberate practice will lead to a seamless giving back to get more.
Empowering us all to flourish in small ways that will add to the quality of our lives and how we are experienced by those around us.
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