Pass It OnAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer, © 2017
I read about the theory of passing it on many years ago. Explained simply, it means you do something good for someone else and in return they do something for someone else and the cycle keeps going.
A Recent Example
Recently, I have been teaching and the person I am teaching wanted to know how much they owed me for sharing my knowledge and time. When I said, "Nothing but all you have to do is to pass on your knowledge". The person was stunned, and replied to me, "But you have spent hours with me and you don't want anything for it?" They truly seemed baffled. So I explained to them the pass it on theory and told them that someday they can pass on what I have taught them to someone who needs help or pass on help of any kind that you can give.
I truly believe that what we give we get. As Flora Edwards once said, "In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us."
A Simple Act
I also had occasion to pass it on recently when my husband and I were travelling through part of the United States. This occurrence took place as we approached a toll booth on one of the major highways. As we stopped to pay our toll, we decided to pay the toll for the car behind us even though we had no idea who they were.
As we drove away, and the other car approached the booth ready to pay, our rear view mirror showed a startled expression from the driver. It was a simple act of passing on a blessing to someone else. The act of passing on any gift of any kind no matter how big or small does not depend on knowing who you are giving the gift to nor does it depend on whether the person needs it or deserves it.
And, when we find success we have a responsibility to help others. Just like someone once helped us. If you think back to your first success, you will realize that someone did help you. It might have been in a small way, but you did receive help. Some people have told me that no one helped them. If this statement that no one helped them were in fact true, it would mean that they have never been influenced by anyone. Such would be the case if this person never had any human contact but I'm sure, at least for ninety-nine point none percent of all people I believe this was nor could be the case.
Somewhere, whether father or mother, grandparent or foster parents, there was an influence. I understand completely that these significant people may not have been beneficial or an encouragement but just the fact that you were fed or clothed or had a roof over your head surely must have been a benefit to your survival as unpleasant as it may have been.
On the other hand, even if some of us have experienced less than stellar help does not mean that we cannot help others even if it is only personally recognized as providing more to someone making sure they never had to experience what we have experienced.
I am often reminded of the quote, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." The change I would like to see in the world is for more people to reach their full potential. So, how can I do this? Well, the website is one way for me, and teaching others is another way. If I can influence just one person, if I can make one persons' life better, than I feel like I am changing the world.
How Can I Help?
A good question to ask you is "how can you help change the world"? Some people might be resistant to help because they know that they are only one person and may believe that there is little one person can do to change anything. However, rest assured that each person can do something even one thing as small or minor as you may think. But, when you realize that if every single person did just one thing, than you would understand the power of doing just one thing. One act compounded by millions of others doing one act can impact the world, or influence the world. Just the same as you take one step at a time when you want to walk somewhere, it is one person at a time that can influence one thing at a time.
Will It Make A Difference?
So, let's explore this notion of one person influencing another than another. Does this really matter? Is it effectual or just a bunch of meaningless words strung together? When you consider the millions of people in the world, and if I am only helping a few, or just one other, what difference will that make? Well my thinking is that you never know that one person may be able to help more. That one person you help, aid, encourage, or counsel may just be the catalyst that was needed to spurn that individual on to do many great things that help peoples all over the world.
If we all took what we learned and helped one person, or as the theory goes, "pass it on", then the impact would be huge - it would make a difference! As the proverb goes, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
If you look over the course of history, many great things started out in a small way. If you look at most successful businesses, they always started small and as they reached one level of success, they continued to grow. This continued growth help to employ even more people providing for increased economies. And, each person that is employed also buys goods and services within the local area which, in turn, may help other businesses grow where they need more employees and so on.
I would ask you to consider the following:
- What are you passing on?
- Are you helping even in a small way or do you hesitate?
- What is the change you wish to see in the world?
- And, more importantly, what are you doing to impact this change?
The words of Winston Churchill are ones that I am always reminded of, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Pass what on? Your knowledge - are you sharing your knowledge so that someone else can learn more and want to learn more on their own?
Pass what on? Your literacy - many people, young and old, struggle with being able to read well. If you can read well, maybe you can help someone else read much better thereby encouraging them to want to learn more or to continue their education because they now have more confidence in reading.
Pass what on? Your kindness - if you find an unkind work environment, you can start to reshape by one small kindness after another. To experience a kindness not only makes a person feel valued but it also plants a seed of kindness within them so that, eventually, they will become another who shows kindness
Pass what on? A smile -no matter where you are, there is an opportunity to greet people with a warm smile. A smile helps melt loneliness, boredom, hostility or anger. Did you know that it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown?
Pass what on? A hello sends a message of welcome of acknowledgement and of worth. To ignore someone is to say to them that they are not worthy of your attention. Make it a point to say hello, warmly, and with a smile.
No matter how small, start today to pass it on.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Living a less acquisitive, less costly lifestyle provides the opportunity to financially support causes we care about." Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
"The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation." Peter Marshall
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