Pass it On….

Pass it On…

Years ago my mum got on a bus, when she reached into her pocket for her fare she realised she didn’t have any money to pay.   A woman behind her in the queue noticed her scrabbling for change and kindly offered to pay for her.  My mum thought this was very generous and asked for her address so she could repay her at a later date.   In reply, this woman simply told her to ‘pass it on,’ explaining that she didn’t owe her anything and that she should simply pass on the good deed to someone else when the time arose.

This is a little story my mum told me years ago and it has always stuck with me.  It’s a life lesson that I love.  A simple random act of kindness can make such a difference to people.  This unknown woman on a bus was nice to my mum, my mum told me about it, and now I try to live by this rule – so you could say her small act of kindness has echoed down the years, completely unbeknown to her.

I’m not saying I’m an angel, because I’m not.  I’m devious, self centred, lazy, bossy, thoughtless and lots of other things, but I’m also very conscious of what little I do can make a difference so I should always at least try to be a better person.  I make mistakes, as do we all, and I’m sorry for them, but I’m aware that I can change and that I should never just shrug my shoulders and accept my faults without putting up a bit of a fight. I can make a difference in this little world of mine and I’m going to get all preachy now, but I think it’s so important for us all to remember that we are not passive, powerless and unable to make this world a better place.

The other day the TV was blaring out in the living room and I suddenly realised that I was purposefully staring out of the window and trying not to pay attention to pictures of starving children and requests from Save The Children for funds because it made me feel bad, and because I felt hopeless to do anything for them. It’s not like we’re a rich family, we get by, but we struggle in our own way.  If I gave money to every charity that asked me for a donation, we’d be on the breadline too. I told myself that at the time, and then felt ashamed of myself.  I still haven’t donated even now and I am even more ashamed as a result.  But I do know that the next time I see one of their collection boxes I will drop a penny or two in, it’ll ease my conscience a little which is selfish really, but I’ll do it regardless.

Every day we are given choices.  We choose whether we help or not, whether that be by giving money or time or resources.  Sometimes we physically can’t do anything, but that shouldn’t stop us stopping and at least thinking about the very least that we can do.  A tiny, insignificant thing really can make a difference.  It’s not just giving to charity either, it’s about trying to be a light in a very dark world sometimes.   I’ve watched the news and cried at the state of things, I know that’s overdramatic, but I don’t think anyone with a heart hasn’t felt the burden of feeling useless in the face of a world that just seems to be so completely unfair.

‘I’m just one person, amongst billions, it’s just hopeless’  It’s this thought that makes me angry.  I think like this all the time, but I refuse to believe it, it’s not the way I want to live my life, it is a lie.  I’m not a politician changing a nation, I’m not a scientist making groundbreaking discoveries that can change lives, I don’t wrench plastic bags from the mouths of dolphins, I don’t live in a mud shack in Africa teaching kids how to read…..I’m just me.  A middle aged housewife, a scruffy one at that, living in a terrace, banging out blogs that only a few will have the patience to read.  But I don’t care, I’ll do this anyway.  Just being me, is a lot.  I do have a voice and I will make a difference, even if it’s only in a very small way.

I have a son and a daughter and I want to pass on this passion to them.  I can’t pair their socks up half the time, but I can teach them to be kind and to listen to other people when they need someone to talk to.  When someone is bullied and no-one has the courage to stand up for them, I want my children to be the ones who defend them.  They won’t be perfect and I never will be either, but I want them to try to be the best they possibly can be – and always to know that the simple act of trying is enough.

I physically can’t give to all the charities that ask for help, I can’t rescue all the sick animals, I can’t take away the guns that kill people in all these pointless wars I keep hearing about – but what I can do is try to raise my children in the best possible way I can.  I want them to ‘pass it on’ and by way of small acts of kindness, make a difference.   I’ll never be a career woman or ‘successful’ in the eyes of many, but if I manage to do this for my children and for others then I’ll have done my bit.

This is how I ‘pass it on.’  What do you do?

I’ve included this YouTube video, because it’s full of little things that people do that brighten life.


11 responses to “Pass it On….

  1. What a great post. I agree with what you say about our children being taught kindness. I hope my girl grows up with passion and honour.
    There used to be a ‘Randon Acts of Kindness’ Day on Fridays, or something similar. It is often simple things that make a difference. SANE mental health charity are running a ‘Send a text, save a life’ campaign.
    There are ways to make a difference without money, or any of the many causes you mention.
    Thanks again for a great post.

  2. Well said. I don’t know how many people will read this. I hope lots will.

  3. This is a great post. Very thought provoking. In an age where the internet can be full of bitchiness I have found myself in an FB group with some amazing women. We are all united in a love of nail polish (and some of us Doctor Who, and we’re turning the rest!) and this is the only internet community I’ve been in where there is no drama. My point is, these women quite often go above and beyond what has been asked of them and quite often someone will receive an amazing RAOK in the post.

    We need to be aware of opportunities to help and make a difference, but it won’t always be when we are asked.

  4. what a lovely story, i dont have much but i try my best also. xx

  5. A lovely message, Kaye. I think you speak for all of us. We do our best but could do better. We are all overwhelmed by the requests for donations to charities – funds are needed for all sorts of people and we just don’t have the funds to help all worthwhile causes who are desperate for funds.
    We receive charity bags through the doors and recently I rounded up lots of items (either won, or bought and never used), and placed them in the plastic bag. There were some good products in there and I hope they helped in some small way.
    I donate whenever I can, as we all do, but we can’t ‘save the world’. We can just do our bit, and not feel ashamed that it’s not enough.
    I enjoy reading your blogs, they’re always interesting and informative, giving ‘food for thought’.
    Best wishes. Frances

  6. It’s like that ‘Pay it Forward’ film with Kevin Spacey. I’ve always tried to do little things. Like offering to carry old dears heavy shopping etc
    It’s like my Nan used to quote from the Bible – Do unto others

  7. a very thoughtful post and very true. but why oh why oh why do modern parents think odd socks are acceptable??????? aaarrrrggggghhhhhhh aah thats better

  8. I agree with the above comments a very thoughtful post. My Grandparents allows taught me treat others as you would want to be treated.

  9. Odd socks are not acceptable at this house, they are unavoidable, lol! Thanks all for your comments. One of the postpals kids died yesterday before her penguinamnesty package got to her, when I heard I just sat there and cried, even though I’ve never even met her or anything. It seemed so sad and so incredibly unfair. It’s the sort of thing that really does make you feel like everything is hopeless and it doesn’t matter what you do, thing are just well…shit. After sitting and feeling pathetic about life for a while, I shook myself, dried my stupid tears and decided that life is for battling with, rather than surrendering to. We can all do something to make things better, no matter what. *stamps feet and looks determined*

  10. You are making a difference as are all the people that have (but don’t need) the patience to read your blog. We can’t all tackle every issue in the world, so we have to choose our campaigns wisely, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care. Keep going exactly as you are, it only needs a hundred like minded people to turn a seemingly helpless task into a positive change xx

  11. I also turn away from charity adverts. Especially the children ones, BUT I give away anything useable we don’t need. Saleable items go to charity shops, stuff that works but broken or missing bits so charity won’t sell, I put on freecycle.

    I love giving things to people, something small but unexpected. When Tesco last delivered it was minus two degrees outside. The guy was shivering, but pretending to be all professional. I say you must be freezing, come inside whilst we unload? Nope he says, then I said do you want coffee and biccies and he was shocked. But nice.

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