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The other morning, I signed on to Facebook to respond to an outstanding email from a friend. One of my neighbor's statuses talked about how that morning she had gone to Starbucks. When she went to pay, the woman told her that the person in the car in front of her had gone ahead and bought her drink. It made her day. So what was she to do? She went ahead and paid for the car in back of her. Paying it forward....The story obviously brightened the day of my neighbor, but I think it did more than that - it brightened the day of everyone who read it. The comments below her status were exclamations of surprise, happiness and excitement. So very cool....
As I was driving my son to school that day, I realized how much others' actions can influence our days. If you've ever been driving and someone cuts you off or yells something or gestures to you - you know that it changes your mood, your outlook. (Or at least it does for me....) For me, it instantly angers me and I have to make a conscience choice to let it go or ignore it...if I don't, I'll be stuck bolstering my actions in my head and convincing myself why I was right....and in doing so, will drag down my mood.
We are social beings, we are not islands. Our actions do influence other people in good ways and in not-so-good ways. I've been influenced by so many people - as I'm sure we all have. I've taken aspects of people's personalities that I really admire and tried to make them my own....some habits, wonderful ways people have made me feel...simple kindnesses that others have shown me. I also spent plenty of time remembering aspects of people's personalities that made me feel badly and using it as a lesson on how to treat others. I may not be able to change those people, but I sure can remember how badly their actions and behaviors made me feel and make sure not to replicate them.
That morning, my neighbor's status reminded me of how easy it is to take a simple action of kindness and influence someone's day in a positive way. I needed it. I get so wrapped up in what I need to do next that I forget that that's really all the insignificant stuff. It will all get done, or it won't. Regardless, next week or next month - it won't matter. Yet the moments that someone gave of themselves to make your day just a little brighter....you'll remember. Those moments are the ones that matter.
When Heather and I started PIOB, we knew that there was great power in each box that someone received. Each box had the power to change someone's perspective or point of view. No one ever knows what moment of kindness is going to impact another person....whether it's now or in retrospect.
Sometimes I write these blogs and feel that I giving a lecture, when the truth is that I'm really talking about something that my own spirit needs to hear. I spend so much time in the theme of my life "rush, rush, rush"...that these moments that I carve out to sit and think about PIOB and what I've learned from it or in life mean so very much to me. They remind me to take the moments as they come and to think through my actions. To reflect, to listen to my spirit, to think about the person I am becoming....and whether or not I'd want her to be my friend. To learn from my mistakes and to truly become wise with age....gentler, not as much in a hurry and less concerned with the inconsequential stuff of life.....
Have a wonderful, beautiful week....
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
How we work
We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather