Paul Rolly, a columnist in the Salt Lake Tribune, illustrates the principle of ‘Paying It Forward’
‘It’s been quite a week for Julee Wright.
The single mother of four has been struggling to get by this Christmas and was shocked to discover that someone had left on her doorstep a book about giving, The Christmas Jar, and a jar filled with five $100 bills and $76 in coins.
The next day, a woman came into the RC Willey store in Provo, where Wright works, and wanted to buy a $500 bunk bed set for Christmas for her 17-year-old son, who only has a mattress to sleep on currently.
It turns out the woman also is a single mother of four and she told Wright that her husband had left her shortly after he returned from a military stint in Iraq and her credit rating was poor. She told Wright she could pay in cash on Friday and wondered if Wright could hold it until then. But without a deposit, Wright could not put it on hold and there were only five of those bed sets left in the entire state.
Remembering the anonymous act of kindness shown to her, Wright put $96 of her own money down for the deposit, which the woman would repay on Friday.
Later, Wright was relaying the story to her sister over the phone and a customer overheard her. Once he learned of the other woman’s plight, he wrote a check for the entire $500 so the woman could get the bed.
The next day, he returned with another $1,000 he asked Wright to give to the woman, telling Wright to wish her a Merry Christmas.’
Our hearts are touched by stories like these throughout the holiday season. Whether it be the random act of kindness of a stranger or the thoughtful act of friends and family. Every act of love, compassion and charity we give and receive make us better people.
The radio, television and internet bring us ill-tidings of the economy and the world. We live in troubled economic and political times. That being said, I truly believe when we treat those around us with dignity, compassion, and respect, we will only enhance our world and make it a better place.
Pay the spirit of this season forward into the coming year. Give of your time and resources without judgment. Help those around you. Let others help you. Your heart will never be empty and your soul will be full of wonder.