Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kindness: Pay it Forward #IWSG



Welcome, insecure writers! If you haven't joined this amazing group yet, clicky here and go for it. You won't be sorry.

On Memorial Day weekend, a Vacaville, CA fire crew was buying groceries at the store. Before they were able to pay, they got an emergency call and had to leave. When they returned, a paid receipt was given to them with these words written on it: "Firefighters, thanks for being there for us! Have a good weekend." It was signed by an Air Force wife. The firefighters then used the money they saved and paid it forward. Click here for the whole story.

Cool, right?

My sons' sixth grade teacher read my book and took the time to send an email that brought tears to my eyes. I told him I'd save the email and read it on days when I'm struggling. His kind words meant the world to me.

These acts of kindness remind me that the simplest gestures can often mean the most. We're all capable of giving kindness, and we're thankful to receive it. In a world that sometimes seems off kilter, it's nice to know kindness remains one of the greatest gifts of all.

The writing community overflows with kindness. How can we pay it forward? Here are a few ideas:

Encourage a fellow writer who's feeling discouraged (this group is THE place for that)
Remind a writer to persevere
Offer positive remarks when giving a critique
Remind fellow writers why they started writing--don't lose the joy!
When we hear good news, spread the word and offer praise
At a conference, invite other writers to sit beside you or at your table

Kindness is one of those rare gifts that when you give it away, it seems to find its way back to you.

Have you witnessed random acts of kindness? Do you have other "pay it forward" ideas you'd like to share?


37 comments:

  1. A little kindness goes a long way...the saying is so true. It does, and it makes me smile to see others do well. Encouragement is very important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miranda, so true. I love how the writing community celebrates the success of others.

      Delete
  2. Kindness is so important. And sometimes hard to remember when we get caught up in the hectic details of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about that, Natalie. Sometimes I'm so caught up in the "me" of things and need to remember to reach out and be kind "just because."

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful post for this IWSG day! I loved the firefighter story. Paying it forward any time is fantastic. Here's my pat on the back for your book again--a small pay it forward moment. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the coolest story? It gave me chills. Good vibes all around.

      Delete
  4. Now you've brought tears to my eyes for two reasons. LOL I love what that Air Force wife did. You know, I think this sort of thing happens more often than we think. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheri, I'll bet you're right...that this happens more than we think. Cuz maybe the do-gooders aren't bragging about their good deeds. We only heard about this because the firefighters posted it on their Facebook page.

      Delete
  5. I see writers helping out other writers all the time. It's what makes the community so much fun to be a part of. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that, Ken! This community totally rocks.

      Delete
  6. So true. Kindness is such a rare and special gift that often comes back when you give much of it away.

    Nice to know you received an email like that -- one that you could read when you need something to make you smile and give you strength.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tell ya, I wrote back to him that his email was the greatest gift he could've given. It was a great reminder that sometimes the greatest gift is simply a kind word.

      Delete
  7. That's a great story about the firefighters! Yes, kindness is a gift and we need to give it to others at every opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, that story about the firefighters gave me chills. And the Air Force wife hasn't even been named. We wouldn't have learned about her kind gesture if the firefighters hadn't posted their thank you on their Facebook page. Awesome.

      Delete
  8. Love that idea. We writers experience pretty low lows, so we can use all the support we can forget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Theresa, absolutely. I love how writers are there for each other.

      Delete
  9. That post was just what I needed after a very bruising day at work. Have a bit of a lift now and going to try and be kinder to people tomorrow even though I'm not feeling so great.

    It's great that you have that letter to read too. I have a folder of encouraging things that I read through to keep me going. I think everyone needs something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah, it's so cool that you've kept of folder of encouraging things. Sometimes that's all we need.

      Delete
  10. Great post! With tragedy and cruelty hogging the headlines, it is could to be reminded of all the good things that happen, too.

    I love how the internet connects so many writers. It is a fabulous tool!

    Happy writing to you! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tui, I'm soooo thankful to be a writing in the digital age. I doubt I'd be connected to so many cool people otherwise.

      Delete
  11. Writers are hands down without a doubt the most supportive bunch of people in this world.
    Before my first book was released I went through law suits, attacks and endless drama. Because of the support I received from the writing community during that time I vowed to pay it forward everyday. Paying it forward has just become habit and I am so much happier because of it.
    My kids tell me I am a serial sharer and they make it sound like its a bad thing:)
    doreenmcgettigan.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A serial sharer!!! I LOVE that that's what your kids call you.

      Delete
  12. Well said, Julie! I wholeheartedly agree with you! Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Let's hear it for kindness <3

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Absolutely. Sometimes I have to force myself to pay attention!

      Delete
  14. Awesome stories!!! I love those random acts of kindness where you don't know the 'perpetrator'. I try to have a Random Act of Kindness week at school once or twice a year - and encourage the kids to keep it going on their own. It's amazing how many do! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Jemi what a great idea for the kids! It's nice for kids to look outside themselves and do something nice for others. You're awesome.

      Delete
  15. That's such a beautiful story! And yours is precious too. It's amazing how the words of a fan can lift us up and stay with us forever. One of the ones I will always remember is a teen girl who wrote a book report on my series and the impact it had on how she views the world. I'm tearing up thinking about it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi, Julie! How's the writing going? I love to hear stories about kindness. My sister and her husband are renting out a big beach house for my entire family in Hilton Head this summer, yay! They are very generous with their money.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, Julie,
    Thanks for these reminders about paying it forward. The other day I was in the bank with a friend of mine who fainted. So many people rushed to help that I was overwhelmed and I wasn't the one who was ill. It's good to think about and put into action the many positive ways in which we can affect other people's lives.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm stealing Jemi's idea. Love that. I teach the kids in my class the pay it forward philosophy at the beginning of the school year and love hearing how they live it as the year goes by. I think generosity of spirit isn't nurtured enough in our crazy world.

    ReplyDelete
  19. These stories are SO nice to hear!! What an amazing world we live in when we can disagree but come together like this and unite for the good of all!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just signed up both my blogs, Julie!! See you at IWSG next month!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A long time ago, I was a popular blogger on MySpace. (Which doesn't amount to much.) It was a very active community and people were cruel. They would post blogs mocking me, insulting me, tearing me down. It was really debilitating at times. One day, a college girl in England emailed to say she and her friends were reading my blog every day and it was all that got through through exam preparation. That made me realize how often you don't realize what an impact your words are making on others.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for a great reminder, Julie, that it's the small acts of encouragement that count the most!

    ReplyDelete