Culture

Paying It Forward: What Giving Back Does for the Soul

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I believe in giving back. I give my time and money to various causes and charities. Sometimes I will even donate to GoFundMe causes like Michael, who needs an intestinal transplant. Whether it’s someone who can’t pay his medical bills or a young entrepreneur with a great idea I want to support, it’s always incredibly inspiring.

I have been blessed with so much in my life and I believe in “paying it forward” (just like in the movie which is an all time favorite of mine). I do it not because I have any sense of guilt for being successful or because I have a hidden agenda and I expect something in return, but because of the complete joy giving back brings to me.

The feeling that I get when I help someone, especially at random, does more for me than any amount of money could ever buy. It brings a deep peace and happiness to my soul knowing that I made someone else’s life a little easier, even in the smallest measure.

The other day I was in line at our local Chick-fil-A getting lunch when I noticed the car behind me had a woman and three kids in it. I paid the woman’s bill, as I often do in lines, and proceeded to exit the parking lot. I looked into my rear-view mirror and noticed that the woman was flashing her lights and waving her arms out of the window to flag me down.

I pulled into one of the spaces and she pulled in next to me. We both got out of the car to greet one another. She put out her arms and pulled me in for a hug. She was so grateful for the gesture, her eyes welling up with tears. She proceeded to tell me that she had just lost her job recently and was a single mum trying hard to make ends meet. She was feeling depressed about her situation and said the meals I purchased had put a smile on her face.

We parted with a hug and a “God bless you” as we both drove away. I know my gesture didn’t solve any of the woman’s problems, but for a moment it may have lifted her spirits to where she didn’t focus on the hardships as much, and that could have meant the world to her.