Exactly What Your Kids Need To Know About Paying It Forward!
My dad was a huge believer of Paying It Forward before it became a fad! He didn’t call it that though, he just considered it as him being a GREAT person!
Growing up, people would always tell me how dope my dad was. They always told me that I was lucky to have a father like him but I didn’t get it until I was in my 20’s.
I watched him navigate the block with ease being able to speak to the drug dealers and to the people “making it” outside of the hood. He was able to get along with everyone because of his actions and treatment of others. He never passed judgment on anyone and helped anyone that asked, that’s exactly the type of people I want my kids to be!
But it doesn’t just happen, so here are a few things I try to teach them about Paying It Forward like a boss supposed to! Remember it’s up to us!
Paying It Forward, Never Pass Judgment
I was raised around things and people that most parents would not want their kids around and that’s what made me who I am now. My dad made it a habit to remind me that everyone, no matter their situation deserves a chance. This is a lesson I stress with my kids now!
I remember a time a lady asked us for change after we did some food shopping. Most people walked passed her in disgust and even gave her dirty looks. Nobody knew her situation but probably thought she was “just” a dirty homeless person. They passed judgment on her and that’s exactly what we shouldn’t teach!
I didn’t care what her situation was, I could see she needed help and promised her some change once we got out of the parking lot.
My son was confused as to why we were helping a stranger and it was the perfect time to teach him that this could be him! We never know what can happen to us due to any number of circumstances so judging others by their looks was a no no! He had it good; giving away a little change wasn’t going to change his situation but could change hers.
We never saw the lady again and we might never know how she ended up in that situation but that day my son learned a huge lesson! He learned that the best way he could help anyone was to NEVER pass judgment on them. Especially since he was blessed and that blessing could be gone at any moment! I remind him of this every chance I get and I know he will pay it forward by teaching that lesson to everyone he touches!
Pay It Forward Because You Can, Not For Acknowledgment
How many times do you hear about someone doing good for someone else but then they expect to be repaid somehow?
I can’t lie that person is sometimes me!
When I started The Phat Startup I was in it to help others and make some money while doing it. As I gave away passes to conferences and even merchandise to people I caught myself expecting something in return. I would get tight when someone we helped would shrug us off. It’s human so don’t kill yourself over it, but it’s also wrong!
It took me a while to realize that I should be helping because I was in the position to do so not because I wanted to be the coolest Puerto Rican in technology! It took me some time to get over the fact that most of the people I would end up helping would never return the favor just like the homeless person you give change to and they didn’t need to!
I never expected a homeless person to look out for me after I helped them so why was I applying something different to everyone else??? The more I taught my son about helping others, the more I realized that doing good was the only thing that mattered.
That feeling of being able to help someone else was a natural high and I loved it, I knew it wouldn’t diminish who I was! So what if people I helped didn’t return the favor! Good karma presents itself in different forms and that’s a lesson we have to stress with our kids!
My son sometimes will hit me with the “why” question and I repeat it over and over again: “Help Them Because You Can, Not Because You Want The Acknowledgment.” The people you help are grateful even if they don’t say it; your heart knows what’s up!
Pay It Forward With Random Acts Of Kindness
The beauty of paying it forward is that you don’t have to break the bank to do it!
You don’t have to buy a house for a homeless person, or buy out the bar for the guy that just lost his job to pay it forward!
It can be as little as holding the door for someone that has their hands busy. Or even giving up your seat to a pregnant lady on the train or bus! Can you believe people still don’t do that?
They say it’s the little things that matter and in the case of paying it forward it makes sense!
It’s really easy to do and teach! Next time you are out with your kids, look around and think to yourself what can we do to help someone else? Maybe it’s letting a busy mom or dad skip you on the grocery line or maybe it’s simply thanking a police officer for what they do on a daily basis. Heck grab someone’s phone and offer to take that great picture they were trying to capture with them in it! It’s that easy!
There are tons of ways to help people and put a smile on their face, don’t pass up the chance to teach your kids about paying it forward! It becomes a lifestyle and by encouraging it every chance you get you just helped your child stand out from the rest! People love those that help others and that type of respect is earned never purchased!
These are just a few things I try to teach my kids about Paying It Forward and I know there are tons more! So if you have some really dope suggestions that you know work, hit me up!
Let’s make the world a better place for everyone!
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