Paying it forward

If there’s anything I have learned about life that maybe should be taught as a rule of life it is that life isn’t fair to everybody.  We are all, if you like, on ladders. But we are all on different rungs. We are never at the top. We are never at the bottom.

In fact, and this might blow your mind, we are all standing on many different ladders at exactly the same time. And on each ladder we are on a different rung compared to each other ladder.

So, one ladder could be the measurement of income and wealth, another ladder social status or success, another health, another happiness, another an expertise, etc, etc.  There are infinite ladders, and so we are on different rungs on each ladder at the same time.

There will always be folks on a lower rung than us.  There will always be folks on a higher rung than us.

Which rung we are on, on which ladder shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

However, I really and truly and honestly believe that it is our moral duty to help, if we are able, the folk that are on a rung below us.

I’m not so happy coining the word ‘below’, because it seems to indicate that those on higher rungs are superior to those on lower rungs.  It is not a superiority/inferiority thing. It is extremely important that this is always remembered.

It’s a sharing and caring thing, more commonly called ‘Paying it forward’. You help someone. They help someone else. The help keeps changing and moving forward passing from one person to the next, forever.

It will never happen, but if this reached a point where every single human on the planet was ‘paying forward’, what a wonderful world we would have created.

Paying it forward could be giving somebody money, it could be teaching them something you have an expertise in such as a language, it could be coaching them to achieve something, it could be just giving them your time.

It is something you can do that doesn’t really inconvenience you, but it helps the recipient climb to a higher rung on a particular ladder. It is something you do without shouting about what you have done. Nobody needs to know apart from the person you are helping up that ladder.  In return, they will also help somebody climb to a higher rung on another ladder, but they won’t necessarily tell you what they did to ‘pay forward’.

So, it could be that you decide to help somebody speak English, in return they paint somebody’s kitchen, and then that person buys another person some food, and that person helps fix another person’s laptop.

Adopting a philosophy of trying to help others in the hope and trust that they will ‘pay forward’ if they are able, is mentally rewarding, exhilarating even. Yes, you could say these are random acts of kindness, and they are.

Sometimes the world seems an increasing horrible place with only doom and gloom out there. Even so, the more people doing even the simplest and smallest paying forward with random acts of kindness, the more things will slowly change for the better, even if the world can’t be changed overnight.