BY ALYSSA LEVIN
FEATURES COPY EDITOR
This past year, I experienced the most terrifying two hours of my life when I realized I had lost my wallet. Inside was my driver’s license, credit card, insurance card, house key, everything that helped me get through my daily life.
In a moment of forgetfulness, I had left it behind outside of my friend’s house, and my first thought was that I was never going to see it again. I was proven wrong when I returned home and found my wallet lying on the front porch of my house.
A wave of relief passed over me, followed quickly by a flood of appreciation. In addition to all of the important items in it, that wallet was given to me as a birthday present. It was a great feeling to know that whoever found it had the goodness to drive all the way to my house and return it with everything intact.
The two boys around the age of 10 who found my wallet came back the next day to make sure I had seen it on the porch. I thanked them for not just going out of their way to return my wallet, but for opening my eyes to the good of people and how we should all be acting
People are always quick to judge others, automatically thinking the worst. Most would think that the person who found the wallet would steal the credit card and the identity. The newspapers or news channels that post stories on the evils of people perpetuate this idea. Yet, here was my wallet, home safe and sound.
The fact that someone was good enough to return my wallet got me thinking that we all need to be better to each other, take the two minutes to go out of our way for someone else and pay it forward. This is not a new concept: a quick search on the Internet will tell you that the phrase was first used back in 317 BC in a small play. The phrase “you don’t pay love back, you pay it forward” then reappeared in 1916 in the book “In the Garden of Delight” by Lily Hardy Hammond.
In fact, there are others out there still trying to make “pay it forward” happen today, and that’s how all of us can get involved. April 30 is International Pay it Forward Day. The founder of the organization, Blake Beattie, lives in Australia and is aiming to inspire 3 million acts of kindness around the world. Last year, people from 70 different countries participated, whether it was from buying someone a cup of coffee or collecting books and distributing them to the less fortunate.
Paying it forward doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be something smaller such as holding the door open for someone or just simply smiling at a person who is looking down and asking him how his day is going. Just make it count.
That means all of us. If someone is walking in the parking lot with no umbrella while it’s raining, offer her one. If someone drops a backpack and everything spills out, stop and help him pick it up.
I guarantee that the feeling after will be rewarding.
To learn more about Pay it Forward Day visit www.payitforwardday.com. This website offers more about the day and ways that everyone can get involved.