Sarah Larson wrote Join in: Pay It Forward Friday - an article about Heather Walton (oh my gosh, she'll be so embarrassed I mentioned her! wrote Sarah in the article (though I'm paraphrasing)) - a Doylestown resident and Realtor with Class-Harlan Real Estate. Heather plans to leave a $5 bill and a cheery note on a stranger's car every Friday.
Larson also writes: "The idea is based on an old saying: When someone does you a favor, don't pay it back. Pay it forward. The kindness spreads exponentially when each person chooses three people to "repay" with kindness."
Ummm, okay. So, now that I've received 5 dollars - I've got to spend 15.00. In an economy where the jobless rates have hovered around 8% for 4 years and I see more businesses going OUT than coming IN?
So, it's not a random act of kindness...it's a freaking bill!!
I call "Bullshit" on this "revolution." I think calling out people (so and so would be so embarrassed but he/she did this) is, indeed embarrassing. Why mention Heather works at a real estate office? Frankly, this seems to me nothing more than an advertisement for a business spun into a "warm fuzzy" story. There's even a link to Heather's Real Estate office tucked into the article.
Being kind to other people shouldn't be a revolution, it should be a habit. I believe Doylestown IS already a nice place to live - Five Dollar Fridays isn't going to make people say, "WHAT A GREAT TOWN, I MUST MOVE THERE!"
Keeping Doylestown, creative, respectful, & friendly will continue to make it a nice place to live. I believe "paying it forward" is something to practice often (quietly & creatively.) Put coins in parking meters, leave unsigned thank you notes in the mailbox of someone who has a fabulous flower garden, leave flowers on the doorstep of the old widow who lives on your block.
I often do nice things for people and the people who know are only my immediate family. I don't EXPECT the people I do nice things for to "pay it forward." If they do something nice for someone else, great, but if not - the whole reason (for me) being surprisingly kind (anonymously), is simply to brighten a day. Nothing expected in return; that is an authentic act of random kindness.
If you really want to spend five dollars on Friday; spend your five dollars on a local biz, or donate it to the animal shelter.