GiveThanks and Pay it Forward

Author: Alecia Pirulis  

Can you believe it is already the holiday season — wow, what a fast year it has been! At a sermon I attended recently, a minister told a story about some young boys who had sent Rudyard Kipling a shilling and asked that he share his very favorite word with them. Rudyard took the shilling and sent a messenger back with the one word he thought had sincere meaning in all facets of our lives and had the most impact in our world. His reply to the boys was his favorite and most meaningful word — “Thanks”.

I agree — the word “thanks” is so powerful. This year as we all reflect, we are indeed thankful for all the good things and blessings we have. To be grateful, you have to give thanks; to accept something from another you have to give thanks; and for blessings, you have to give thanks!

Also, I have been on a mission to “pay it forward” with small random acts of kindness lately. It has indeed been rewarding – a couple stories to share:

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Linda Graf, David Timothy (SoupMan) and Marcia B.

I went with a few Dallas friends last week to feed some homeless people in a very tough area of Dallas – wow, how humbling to see over 600 people line up to get a cup of soup and a PBJ sandwich on the side of the street. SoupMan and the SoupMobile do this every day at noon – amazing! They work from personal donations. What a dedicated group of people to help those who have no home, no food and just a few clothes. Yes, there were several children there and I wanted to give them more! Since we are in the housing business, to help those with no home was rewarding.

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Also, recently I was fortunate to get a first class upgrade on a flight. Prior to boarding I spoke with a young girl in full Army uniform who was saying good bye to her Dad – she was headed to Iraq for 5 months. Her dad told me how proud he was of his daughter for helping to protect our country. I said – ‘why yes, you should be proud, what an amazing gift she is giving on our behalf’. As I boarded and wandered to my seat, I had an thought – I will give up my first class seat and let this young woman have it – I will take her seat in the back! I asked the flight attendant if I could do this – and she agreed since she has two children overseas right now. As the girl boarded, we told her – “wow, so cool, you have been upgraded to first class, your seat is 2A”. She nodded and took the seat. I glanced at her boarding pass so I would know where to go in the back of the plane (yes it was a middle seat – everyone asks). The flight attendant announced that the young military woman was on board and in first class and the entire plane yelled out ‘hip hip hooray’ and clapped for her. I got many nods and ‘thanks’ from those around me who figured it out. The ladies behind me asked – can you put this on facebook so others might be so kind and let our military enjoy an upgrade occasionally! Funny!!

There are so many random acts of kindness we can do – and paying it forward is just one form of giving.

So Thanks – giving – I think I see it differently this year. I am thankful for all that I have – and I want to be more giving! Please pay something forward – and you will see – the amazing feeling of exhilaration you get from making someone’s day! Doesn’t really have to be anything big, just something kind and giving.

I hope each of you had a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

If you would like to make a donation to the SoupMobile (a non-profit mobile soup kitchen feeding, clothing and housing the homeless in the Dallas area): Mail check or money order payable to: SoupMobile Inc. , SoupMobile Inc. , 3017 Commerce St., Dallas, Texas 75226 (mention the apartment industry) or donate online: http://soupmobile.org/capdonateform.php