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The real meaning of “paying it forward”

Paying It Forward

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.
                                                             —Stephen Grellet–

You reap what you sow, cast your bread upon the waters or pay it forward, to me it all means the same.

Think about the meaning behind those sayings…

What do you contribute to life in general?

Most of us go through life helping and giving and don’t realize that we’re doing so. You might be surprised just how much you give, something as insignificant as holding a door for someone or maybe giving a donation to a charity or as wonderful as saving a life.

And then one day it comes back when you need it the most and least expect it, I know it did for me.

Sure there are many sociopaths out there who don’t care what they do to someone or what they take from someone, but there are also many good people out there paying it forward…

Except they might not realize it because they’re natural givers, it’s just who they are it’s what they do.

The other day I started thinking about my near death experience and my last triathlon event and how a young lifeguard saved me.

Stark realization hit me square in the head,

Wow, I would have died had that lifeguard not been attentive and good at his job.

 I really don’t know how to explain how I was feeling at that moment, but I’ve never experienced it before. Then the memories from my career as a firefighter/paramedic came flooding back.

I recall thinking that during my time on fire trucks and ambulances, how instrumental I was in saving many lives…

And now someone saved my life. 

I thought that maybe through those 27yrs as a firefighter/medic I paid it forward.

On Feb. 10, 1964 I became a Firefighter and right away I became interested in Rescue.

I went to school, studied and trained and spent the next 27 years as a firefighter and paramedic.

I’m not writing this to toot my own horn but during that time, like so many of my fellow first responders, I was part of a team that saved many lives.

Yes, there were times that no matter what we did we were unable to save the person in need and maybe in that case it wasn’t meant to be, but right now I prefer to stay positive and think about the people we saved.

When a life is saved more often than not the happiness and future of a family is saved. 

Many times people have stopped by the fire station to meet and thank the firefighters that saved their family member.

Thank you for saving my father,” they say, or husband, or wife, or son, or daughter, they were all happy and appreciative of still having their loved one with them.

Now this amazing gift has been given to me and my family.

They all said how great and efficient the lifeguard and medics were that saved me. They all expressed how thankful they are that I was saved.

So! When you extend a helping hand and do a kindness, chances are you’re kind act is touching many more people than you realize.

Extend that helping hand, who knows you just might be helping yourself.

And remember never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”, because you’re not and you can.



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