I’m a big movie freak, I think it’s the visual nature of the story-telling that appeals to me and of course, to millions of others.
A while back, (thank you IMDB, for the reminder!) in fact fourteen years ago now, there was a superb film entitled ‘Pay It Forward’ in which a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) tries to change the world with a simple principle: instead of payback for favours that others do for you, why not do favours for other people before they do something for you? He started to ‘pay it forward’ as a guiding ethic and found that he was able to effectively change the world. Yes, it was probably a bit schmaltzy in places, but the basic tenet of doing kind acts for other people, without expecting something back from them has grown and grown as a concept and is now a global movement.
I was fumbling around on the InterWeb thing a few days ago, looking for something else (as usual) when I came across the Pay It Forward Experience. Founded by one man, Charley Johnson; it exists to simply make someone’s day better by doing something kind for them.
The principle here is even simpler than the movie of the same name – Charley isn’t asking any one person to change the world, but if each person who hears the message can be kind to one other person each day, well, that’s a great start and if you think about it, if everyone did it, then the world WOULD be a better place. A million people doing something nice for a million other people. THAT’S the way to change the world my friend!
I would encourage anyone reading this piece to go and check them out – it certainly makes you think. I can hear John Lennon singing ‘Imagine’ all the while when I’m thinking about it myself. A true brotherhood of Man.
The thing that sparked me on this train of thought was the arrival in the morning post of a present. Given to me with great love and consideration by a wonderful lady whom I have never met. Her name is Eileen Hileman and she’s another one of those wonderful angels that walk amongst us.
I first ‘met’ Eileen about twelve months ago as we became a part of the amazing community that Jon Katz, an American writer whose books about dogs (in particular) have made me laugh and cry and squeal with joy, founded based upon the brilliant blogging journal he writes about his life at Bedlam Farm. It is an online community that is like no other, a place to share art in multitudinous forms with like-minded people. The friendships that have been forged in the Open Group for Bedlam Farm (or OGBF/ Farmies) in the past year are remarkable – I’ve found so many people who share a common passion for beauty, nature, sensitivity and creativity and all of them live many thousands of miles from my home, here on the grange. A collective uproarious sense of humour is usually at the heart of everything shared there, which makes each day seem just a little brighter and more cheerful than before.
We’ve all taken thousands of photos, posted poetry, artwork and blog posts as well as taking group courses and giving each other considerable positive feedback and support. We’ve laughed and cried together, congratulated and consoled each other at appropriate times. We have all shared many aspects of our lives, past and present with each other. In short, we have become true *friends*. It’s been a remarkable adventure into the unknown and I’m immensely glad that I’ve been able to be a part of it.
Eileen is the wonderful person who makes beautiful quilts for people. She’s made them for several group members – each for their own reasons. I’m not sure why she decided to make one for me, but I am so very pleased that she did! On Saturday my quilt arrived. A cuboid cardboard box was just waiting for me to rip it open. Then came the layers of tissue and then finally, out poured this glorious emerald-backed quilt with the most beautiful, jewel-like colours arranged in an intricate pattern all over the top. it is just so lovely, I can’t tell you – so here’s a picture.
I wanted to thank Eileen so much for her wonderful gift. It’s amazing.
In the true spirit of paying it forward, I’m going to have to think of something that I can do for others. I guess you’ll just have to watch this space to find out what that’ll be!
Thanks for reading!