Pay it Forward...

As I was catching up on my blogroll this morning I stopped off at Brunch at Saks. I simply adore her blog. It's pure eye-candy. Her most recent post really touched me. I always try to be kind to people and go out of my way to make people feel comfortable and special ... I go out of my way to thank everyone who has helped me in one way or another over the course of my day. It's the gracious thing to do. It's the right thing to do. As my children grow up it's something important for me to instill in them. It's more than manners and upbringing -- it's about respect.  I want my children to respect everyone they meet. Rich, poor, old and young; everyone deserves to be respected and there is a lack of such these days. I want my children to learn and understand that there is no difference between them, or me, and the person bagging their groceries. We don't know why that person is bagging groceries. Perhaps they fell on to hard times. Well, that person bagging groceries could be them, or me one day. We have no idea what the future has in store.

And with that in mind I wish to share her Pay it Forward post. After all, we can all use a little help from our friends, and we can always do something to help our friends... or strangers. I have been the fortunate recipient of so many wonderful people over the course of the past year.  When I had surgery last spring friends brought food and cared for my children and drove me around for three weeks -- to the doctor's, to the grocery store, to physical therapy.They gave me support and encouragement. Somewhere someone needs you. Somewhere someone needs me.

Some ideas to Pay it Forward:

* Pay someone a compliment...
* Do what you can to make people feel good about themselves... this is priceless!
* Offer to watch a new mother's young child so that she can take a break and get a shower, some rest or out of the house.
* Bake some cookies for a dear friend (or friends) and leave them in their mailbox with a note.
* Buy the person behind you in line at Starbucks their coffee
* Donate non perishables to your local food shelter. (Especially during the non-holiday season when they tend to get overlooked.)
* Do some volunteer work or community service by helping at a local shelter, farm, or business.
* Donate old clothes and household items (gently used) to a local woman's shelter.
* Teach your children about paying it forward by having them donate their used toys.
* Pay someone's toll or transportation fare.
* Take a friend out to dinner.
* Bring dinner over to a friend in need.
* Buy some groceries or pick up a gift card for a friend who may be having hard financial times.
* Pick up an iTunes card for a friend who needs a pick-me-up... so they can have some happy songs or
* Make a "mixed tape" on a CD of fun and inspirational songs for a friend going though tough times.

I would love to hear some of your ideas as to how you would pay it forward!