There is one of those “copy and paste my status” things going around on Facebook at the moment. Well, it was when I was still on Facebook (see post: Solitude). This was called, pay it forward, and what it requires is that you post a comment on the bearer’s page and then copy and paste it onto your status. The first five people to comment will receive, the status promises, a personal gift from the bearer during the year. I liked that, that people would make a conscious effort to do something nice for somebody else, for no other reason than that it would be paid forward to another. The concept, I believe, comes from movie, Pay It Forward, based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The idea is if someone presents you with a gift, a boon or does you a huge favour, you repay it by passing it on: kinda of like a pyramid club but selfless instead of selfish. I have to warn you, the movie is a real tear-jerker, I boohoo-ed through the entire second half of it. (Mmmmm, I wonder why I have never read the book? Note to self – read it).
I have always tried to live my life like that. I try to consciously and actively do something good for somebody that will change their life in at least a little way for the better every day. The response I normally get? Well, I am going to quote a friend of mine, Nicole, now because she describes it so very well: “Sometimes the recipients of my adulation, generosity and love would cower in the wake of it. Sometimes they would become suspicious, thinking I was fake or an ass-creeper of sorts, with ulterior motives. Sometimes they would just feel downright uncomfortable by it because it is, in fact, so unusual in certain circles…” Yep, that’s what people think of me, even my latest lost love was made uncomfortable by it. But I still try, although I must admit I tend to focus more on animals now. They love unconditionally and receive your love in the same way. They, unlike people, are not overwhelmed by me and made uncomfortable. Why do I still try with people? Because I live in the hope that, firstly, I will affect their lives for the better and as well as also giving them hope, and secondly, that they will pass it forward and begin to make this world a better place.
Unfortunately in life, and in the whole scheme of things, if there is light, there is dark, if there is good, there must be bad; yin and yang. Yin and yang are two sides of dualism; they are the tails and the heads of a coin. They exist alongside one another, and the head cannot exist without the tail, and the tail cannot exist without the head. Everything in this world is a dualism. In it, you can always find yin and yang. What I am saying is that there is a dark side to the whole pay it forward scenario, sending badness out there: doing something horrible to somebody which of course affects them negatively and results in them passing it on to somebody else. Here, of course, is where you have a choice though, if you are the recipient of the negative, the bad, the evil. You can choose not to, and in the case of a bad relationship you can also choose not to allow that person to continue to take from you nor to influence your life and decisions any further. I admit it is a lot harder to do than if someone has paid forward something good to you, but I find the process of taking that badness that has been handed to me and converting it into something positive to pass forward, cathartic.
Let me give you a personal example: I have, in my life, had a number of terrible relationships culminating in the worst of them all, the one in LA. So goodness knows, I have plenty of reasons to want to isolate my self, to put up defensive walls and to become bitter and angry. However, I still managed to open my heart, and I loved again, selflessly, (honestly, I am happy just to spend time with the person I adore, I don’t need anything else) and loved as I would like to be loved. I will not kid you, it was not easy and I was terrified, and yes, my love was rejected, and I was hurt again and am in agony again. But I hope that I, in some little way, touched her and passed something good and gentle and healing on. I try not to pay forward what was done to me but what I would like done to me and I think/hope/pray it makes all the difference.