When it comes to acts of kindness, I try to stress one major point to my audiences: “We never know far the ripples go”.
Over the weekend I tried something new.
During a speaking event for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program, I put a different spin on one of my closing stories. This particular group of two dozen high school freshman were getting their feet wet as part of a Community Leadership Workshop (CleW) as they launch a year-long 100-hour community service mission.
I love this organization.
As I prepared to wrap up, I asked: “Who has a shelter or food pantry in their community which they would like to help?”
One of the first hands to go up belonged to a young lady who'd just given a great answer in the previous exercise.
“Can I give you a big challenge?” I asked.
Drawing a $20 bill and a business card from my pocket, I continued: “Please contact them and see what items they need most, then stretch this money as far as you can. When you gather it up, please take a picture of yourself with all the items and share it on social media with this message: 'I was given this money and asked to pay it forward and share this picture to see how many more people we can help'. Then please e-mail me the picture.”
“I can do that”, she answered.
What I did not tell them was that I had been given that money earlier in the week, earmarked for an act of kindness.
This little experiment, paying forward a 'pay-it-forward', was a first...and it won't be the last.
While I was packing up my laptop and projector during their break, the event organizer approached me, saying “Wow, that young lady has already texted her Mom to put together a plan for sharing that money!”
As a speaker, my mission is to plant seeds like this with every audience.
I can't wait to see the picture and hear what she does with the money, and how many more people she affects on her journey into this 100-hour community commitment.
How did I get MY start?
I had coaches, mentors and others who inspired me by sharing a bit of themselves...who asked me to pay it forward.
I hope I've honored their wishes.
We never know how far the ripples go.
I've just tossed a $20 pebble into HOBY Pond.
I can't wait to watch the waves.
How many ponds can YOU ripple into this week?
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Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.