Persolvo: this verb carries with it the paying or filling of an obligation or vow.
Porro: forward, further, next, in turn.
It sounds very romantic in the Latin. The concept is not new, and was first expressed in a play in Athens, Greece. The year was 317 BC. Humans through history have stumbled toward the beauty of this action...and that is, to Pay it Forward.
Pay it Forward. What does it bring to your mind? A cheesy movie with Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel, "I see dead people" Osment? Or does it stir recollection? One of an act of kindness that caught you bewildered, or just brought a smile to your face? Or does it provoke a memory of when you were the one who extended an unexpected kindness?
I think the easiest, and most inexpensive of acts, is a compliment. It's amazing to see someone light up for your recognition...whether it be a compliment about their appearance, a talent, or just because. If compliments were currency, I would certainly hope that we all have a surplus in our bank. One where we can deposit the ones we have received, but more importantly, spend on those who need one most. The exchange rate of thoughtfulness never leaves one with less than they started with, rather, it grows with each transaction.
While it is exciting to be part of this amazing ebb and flow in our life journey, I am of the opinion that keeping the acts you have participated in to yourself. I'd guess in the grand scheme of life, that kind of installment holds a much more precious value. Keeping it silent, I believe is the entire essence of the interaction.
Some people spend their lives taking. Never being secure enough in their own skin to extend any kind of sincerity to another. Puddle deep. That's what I call those people. Some people spend their lives wild with jealousy...I would rightfully anticipate, that Paying it Forward is the last thing on their mind. Or, of course, there are those so wrapped up in their own lives, and their own personal dramas, that they can't shift even a baby toe over the line of compassion, and to the recognition that there is more to this life than just them.
But then, you meet someone who blows the doors off of your Pay it Forward concepts. That person is sent to you, to show you that you can do so much more...you can BE so much more, if you will just pay attention in this life. That person is perhaps catching up...for years of being a taker...but is doing one hell of a job making a difference here and now, and...from now on.
Thankfully, Pay it Forward doesn't die when we do. It lives on inside the ones we love.
The movement continues...from Athens in 317 BC, to my apartment in September, 2010 AD.
Michael...we're off at it again...walk ahead of us, so we can follow your unquestionable shadow. May we Pay it Forward with focus and endurance...and may we make you proud. xo