Pay It Forward

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Featured, General | 0 comments

Pay It Forward

Charity and giving are essential components to happiness. Stretching it even further to anonymous charity will elevate the feeling of joy to a greater level. When an anonymous gift is given, the recipient embraces an awareness that they are being seen, and that they are not alone. Upon acceptance of the gift, they may be inspired to pass it on to someone else in some way. However, the most significant gift is to you, the giver. The feeling of bringing joy to a “stranger” who has absolutely no expectation of this gift, is nearly indescribable. It can only be known through experiencing it, and it can bring about a permanent shift in you: a new way of knowing joyfulness.

Pick a restaurant that you like to go to, preferably with friends, family, or coworkers. The next time you are there, as you are finishing your meal, look around and choose one table to anonymously pay for their meal. Let your instinct be your guide. Perhaps a father with his children, a woman with her elderly mother, or a senior eating alone will catch your eye. The only criterion is that they will finish their meal after you leave the restaurant. After you have chosen your table, contact your server and let them know that you wish to keep this act anonymous. Ask the server to quietly get their bill and put it on your tab, including the tip. If you are with your kids, it is fun to let them participate in the choosing of the table. They will feel charity in it as well.

The impact you will have in this Action Step is many fold. Naturally, you will no doubt feel good about your participation in anonymous charity. The server will experience the positive energy of witnessing a random act of kindness. The people you are with will be curious, even skeptical at first, but they will witness this generosity as well.

If you repeat this act every time you are at this restaurant, there will be another very dramatic impact that you may not recognize right away. The people who are with you, especially your children, will start to consider anonymous generosity to be normal and expected behavior. If there is a first-time guest with you, when you ask your kids to help choose another table to treat near the end of the meal, the guest will be curious and ask about it. Let your kids explain. You will likely be surprised as they explain that this is just something normal that they always do. How wonderful does that sound? Kids teaching that it is normal to give anonymous charity.

If you can, continue the tradition every time you go to that restaurant. You will feel a bit of a buzz from the wait staff and management when they see you. By this effect, you can even elevate the energy in the entire establishment. You will leave a legacy of giving to all involved: the people in your party, the recipients, and the staff at the restaurant. They will all either be inspired to repeat the behavior for themselves, or, at the very least, re-tell the story of the patron who delighted in anonymous generosity. Plan to do this one night this week.

This is an except from the book Extreme Thought Makeover: 37 Days to Maximum Life! Day 11 Lesson and Action Step

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