Life's Unexpected Lessons- 3: The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule
Have you ever stopped to think about the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you …” Powerful words that can really make one think … How would we like others to treat us and in return then how should we treat others?
A famous movie was based off of this timeless concept and taken even one step further; “Pay It Forward” revolves around the concept of doing something nice for someone and not wanting anything in return other than for the recipient to do the same for another. This would mushroom and ultimately with hundreds or thousands of people ‘paying it forward’ make the world a much nicer place.
Just the stuff of movies? I think not for many have embraced this concept and reached out to total strangers helping then in a time of need and expecting nothing more that for them to return the favor when the time arose. Take for example, the story of an older woman from Atlanta, Georgia, who was grocery shopping and ahead of her in line was a young mother with her pre-school aged child. They were buying only a few bags of Goldfish snacks and the little girl was so excited as it was her day to bring snack for the class. The woman struck up a conversation with the young family reiterating how much the little girl and her friends were sure to enjoy her treat. After they were rung up, the young mother reached for her wallet only to realize she had forgotten it at home. She immediately began to reassure the child that she would come back for them and remind her that they needed to go or she would be late for school. The older woman immediately stepped up and said, “No, no – its o.k.” and turned to the cashier and stated, “just add them to my bill.” The young mother was astonished and began to profusely thank the woman insisting that she would pay her back for them and attempted to get the older woman’s address. The woman simply smiled and said, “No need … just pay it forward …”
This is not an isolated event … things like this have begun happening all across the country … at Christmas time a woman in Michigan stepped up to a Layaway counter in K-Mart and asked to pay off five hundred dollars on three layaways that had toys for children in them. She refused to leave her name. The following day another anonymous call came and paid off two thousand dollars on fifteen more layaways. This spread all the way to California and many surprised families of young children received the benefit of an unknown person’s kindness. Did the recipients pay it forward? We hope so for this has become a trend of true selflessness and generosity throughout our society. It is truly a beautiful thing and a side of human nature we need to embrace.
Isn’t it about time that we stop hoarding our good fortune and begin to care about those in need around us just for the simple pleasure of making someone smile or making things a little easier for another? And it goes back further than just a movie script which reached the masses and touched our hearts. God stated in Deuteronomy 15:7-8 “You shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.”