“True charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense.” – Emanuel Swedenborg
Daily Nugget of Gold 1182
Other Thoughts on Paying it Forward
In the news is a man who “scuttled” a pay-it-forward streak in a line at a chain coffee house. The idea of randomly paying for someone’s order who might be next in line is a sweet gesture, for sure. It’s a blessing for the giver and it’s a blessing for the recipient. Often, what happens is that the recipient likes the idea so much, they in turn pay for the next person. So why did this guy interrupt the chain of people doing so- numbering in the hundreds of customers? Let’s see.
The first reason we heard from him had to do with how being driven by guilt to give wasn’t healthy. He’s right on that, according to The Law of Attraction. One cannot receive any meaningful positive benefit in giving when we do it because we feel guilty. Guilt is a negative emotion and feeling it only attracts to ourselves more things to feel guilty about. It also isn’t very nice to try and induce guilt on the next person in line.
What was happening here was that the word got out on social media that this particular store had this streak going and people were lining up to participate. This, the man pointed out, was more of a marketing ploy than something people were doing out of genuine charity. Good for the coffee shop, yes, but one of the things this exercise did was to give them a sense of charity, giving to people who really didn’t need help, true? And what about those who went there after catching wind of it? Were they going to be giving if the people in line by then had stopped? Probably not.
People are eager to give, which is a wonderful thing. Giving in a way which helps the recipient and the giver isn’t difficult. We should give generously when we are genuinely helping; we want to give when the giving doesn’t harm the recipient. Giving heroin addicts money for their next fix, most people would agree, isn’t a great idea. Giving them a sandwich might be a better choice.
Some people love to do this type of giving randomly at a place like a discount bakery, for example. On rare occasions, we’ve heard, it goes forward a few people down the line, but it seems to land on someone who needs it faster in a place people go to buy day-old bread, than in a place selling $5 cups of coffee. Being “gone” before the next person goes to pay the cashier is also a nice touch.
So was this person who stopped the chain of giving a bad guy? The article says he tipped the server $100. He just didn’t pay for the next person’s coffee. That’s a class act in making a statement, we think. As we seek to learn and grow it’s probably wise for us to understand the difference between fool’s gold and the real thing. Let’s seek out new and better ways to give and let’s not succumb to social pressure for a cheap substitute instead of the genuine act of love and kindness.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to develop the habit of giving from a heart overflowing with joy?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.