Happy New Year! January is our fresh start for the next twelve months on the planet together.
Perhaps you’ve guessed, Michelle and I are optimists. Pollyanas even, intentionally seeking out and generating vitality. You’ve heard the expression “pay it forward”? Maybe you’ve seen the movie starring Kevin Spacey? It’s the concept of “repaying” acts of kindness with good deeds to others instead of back to your original benefactor. The idea is old, but the words may first have been voiced by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight. Lily was a reformer and progressive Southern thinker for her time.
Pay it forward. It’s a philosophy that has been in our human psyche for centuries: What goes around comes around. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And karma, action that causes the entire cycle of cause and effect, or simply, the fruit that results. I once read, even a smile to strangers and those you pass by can change the world.
This January, I’m putting a slight spin on “pay it forward”. I’m encouraging my family to act and live by these words with “play”. My kids can certainly benefit from learning the rules of cause and effect. But I think they’ll benefit even more, if we’re all having fun and getting inspired while we create good karma. We’re “Playing it forward" and already I’ve felt the benefits of heeding these simple
I had my handyman over yesterday and he moaned he’d been out of work and was worried about making rent. I suggested a business opportunity that could bring him new clients. He loved it and went away excited. I was lunching with a high school friend at a fancy Laguna Beach restaurant where the world looks good to everyone. The occasion was business-related, but when he described some pretty severe challenges he was encountering in his personal life, my thoughts turned to my resources and I offered three. He texted me later that evening with a big thank you for my support. I know he and I will conduct our business as we had envisioned even though we talked personally most of the lunch.
To make “Playing it forward” really easy, I have invested in a 50-card starter set of “Karma Coaching Cards” from www.karmacoachingcards.com. You can even find them used at Amazon.com. Each card suggests a single “action” you can take to further your random acts of kindness and compassion game. My first card suggested that I: “Introduce someone new into your circle of friends.” So knowing I was having a business meeting over coffee, I brought a new friend and introduced her to my existing friend. Karma card one was done!
Stephanie Mendoza and Michelle Wells are two Belmont Shore
parents, Type A Volunteers, as well as small businesswomen who are interested
in finding healthy food and healthy choices for their families and friends.