“The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.” ~ Julia Alvarez …
It was impressed upon me as a child, that if someone showed me kindness, it is imperative that I repay that kindness back. And for much of my younger years, I never did really give others the opportunity to simply give to me, and receive only thanks and gratitude in return. Nor did I truly understand the value and the awesome power of passing on a kindness that was done to me. I simply strive to pay back the kindness.
Allowing others to give without being burdened by our recompense is an important part of both our divinity and our humanity. When we try to always pay back kindness, we constantly leave others feeling like they are in debt. I know from my own mindset, that when I perform a kind act, I do so without the intention of having it paid back. It therefore seems a bit unfair for me to assume that I must repay others who show me kindness. Such a perspective, in a way, cheapens their kindness by assigning a self-serving motive to it, which is not really fair; to some extent, it takes away part of the joy and the value of their gift.
More importantly, when we pass the kindness of an individual on to another, we allow the ripples in the pond to continue onward–positively affecting more people, changing hearts, minds, and lives in a way that might otherwise never have occurred. It is a beautiful feeling to think of the chain reaction of a simple kindness I do for one person. If my simple act can motivate others to pass it on, then it becomes much more–it becomes a spark that can start a flame that can spread into the lives and hearts of many more people.
Kindness is about making a small contribution to the positive side of life, with no expectation of return. This kindness allows us all the opportunity and ability, to affect the world in its entirety, in a positive way, every day of our life.
Pass on kindness to those you encounter.
Questions to consider:
What motivates you to perform kind acts?
Why might we think that paying others back for a kindness is important?
Is a kind act, truly a kind act, if it is done with the expectation of repayment?
For further thought:
“Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
‘Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another’s tears,
Till in Heaven the deed appears–
Pass it on.”
~ Henry K. Burton, Pass It On