Wikipedia – Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original beneficiary.
Approximately four years ago during our family’s period of despair, I was at my hairdressers getting my hair done for a wedding. Technically I couldn’t afford to be there but you get it, I had been going to her for twenty plus years! For all the years I had seen her, I had been able to pay my way for her services. But on this occasion I was unable to pay her in full and asked if I could make part payments like a lay-by. Filled with dread having to ask her and with my pride on the floor she flawed me with her response. She said “don’t pay me back, pay it forward” and subsequently didn’t charge me for my appointment. So when I left, I gave her a commitment to pay it forward.
Suddenly I felt weighed down that I had not given her money, but that I still owed something. I had heard of the expression but didn’t really understand what it meant to “pay it forward”. She recited a movie to me which I had heard of but had not seen. In retrospect, the movie Pay It Forward was a movie that came out in 2000 based on a book (also of the same name) written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book and film are about a 12yr old boy that starts a goodwill movement. To this day I still haven’t seen the film because I know it is very sad and it also has a heavy message (so have the tissues ready if you plan to see it).
So considering the ‘pay it forward` term. If someone does something kind for you, the person doing it for you does not expect payment or pay back in any way. So my hairdresser all those years ago didn’t want me to pay her back but instead she was suggesting that I do something kind for someone else. As the recipient of her help, I found myself in such an uncomfortable position. I thought what could I possibly offer anyone when I had nothing to give anyone and was struggling to get through each day after the death of our son and business. I had always been the person that people to came to for assistance.
I found myself trying to do things for other people, albeit differently to how I would help in the past. All I could offer was my time, my baking skills, or my business skills. I’d offer snippets of all that I was capable of managing mentally and physically but in hindsight it just didn’t seem enough because there were others that were doing things for our entire family as well. From total strangers. Extremely generously. Completely anonymously and so overwhelmingly. We experienced acts of kindness that I do not think we will ever be able to repay. And then again during my recent brush with cancer.
Crystal Hampers is the next chapter in our family’s life. It is only now we are feeling stronger and more confident to offer something to others that is meaningful to us as we get back on our feet. We have included a complimentary gift wrapped small Rose Quartz crystal in each Crystal Hamper for the recipient of the hamper to pass on to someone that has done something kind for them or simply because they think they should have it. Rose Quartz being the quintessential crystal of all things love and relationships (including grief), we thought appropriate to use as we have included this crystal in every Crystal Hamper we make. There are no references to anything other than it being a gift to give.
This token gesture that we can do for others though, is a nod to the people who have helped us in our time of need.
And thank you to my hairdresser! A truly sliding door moment.