“Whose bucket are you going to fill today?” – is the question I ask my kids as I take them to school. Every morning they reply back with a teacher, or friend or act of service and my hearts full. I started thinking more about the concept of “paying it forward” when my 8 year old was sharing his bucket filling story with me. He was so excited about how he made a friend feel that when asked what the best part of his day was it wasn’t anything that had happened to him – it was what he had done for another. I realized then I was missing a tremendous opportunity to bucket fill myself. I decided I was going to commit to paying it forward daily and we would share our stories when I picked them up after school.
I have read that “paying it forward” should not be preconceived rather spontaneous. Although, I do understand the philosophy, I believe much can be accomplished with a well thought intention. I believe that in general we can be kind and generous and that in so doing can make an impact without much planning. We can be a rainbow in someone’s clouds by simply smiling. That being said – if you follow my blog you know that I am a planner and a “list” girl. I thought it would be fun to create a bucket filling list that my family could work to accomplish and inspire the choices in our days.
I worked with my boys on creating this list that we will refer to and be proud of ~ I would love to challenge anyone reading this to commit to a daily act of kindness either something in the list below or your own list. In the spirit of sharing I would love to hear from you… your ideas, and pay it forward (PIF) intentions. I believe that if we share our kindness with the world it will be a better place to live.
- Treat a stranger- Buy someone’s drink in line (I have personally benefited from this PIF and it feels equally awesome to do it kind in return.
- Clothing donation- Donate to organizations in need
- Parking Meters- Fill a few parking meters with change
- Food donation- Donate food to a pantry or drive
- Nursing Home- Make and deliver cards to a nursing home
- Relay your gratitude- Write or text thank you’s to at least 5 people
- Make a phone call – reach out to someone you haven’t contacted lately- if they come to mind there is probably a good reason to reach out
- Brighten someone’s day with compliments or hugs
- The unexpected- purchase a gift card or flowers for strangers
- Neighborly love- Give a gift to your neighbor
- Social Shout out – give positive thoughts/compliments online
- Hold the door for someone
- Put away someones cart for them
- Draw/color a picture for someone
- Help out my brothers with their chores
- Make someone laugh
- Make a card for your teacher
- Say hi to someone new
- Pick up trash
- Bring breakfast to our school teachers or coffee to the line attendants at school
Lastly and most importantly, when people want to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward instead. We can create a kindness revolution, one good deed a day!