Giving Thanks — Pass it On!

Thursday, October 03 at 10:40 AM
Category: Arvest News

While Thanksgiving is a time to pause and give thanks for all we have, it’s also a great time to give thanks, as in doing something nice for others.

Think of all the things you say thank you for without even thinking about it during the day: the hot cup of coffee handed through the drive-thru window, the wave of gratitude to the driver who let you break into traffic, the person walking into the building right before you who held the door open for you and the customer service representative on the phone who helped you find a solution to a problem.

We might not stop to think of the small things people do for us, and we probably don't ponder the positive impact these small actions have on us. We sure can benefit, though, from turning around and giving acts of kindness back to others.

In 2000, author Catherine Ryan Hyde published a book called “Pay It Forward.” It was followed by the release of a Warner Bros. movie by the same name, and the movie created a social movement that continues today.

The concept behind this movement is a person does a good deed for someone else and asks only that they "pay it forward" in return. When the recipient wants to "pay it back," the giver simply instructs them to "pay it forward," to do a kind act for someone else.

The good deeds could be as simple as paying the toll for the person behind you, letting the harried mother with tired children cut in front of you in the checkout line or giving your umbrella to someone less prepared on a rainy day. At Arvest Bank, one of the ways we like to “pay it forward” is through our 1 Million Meals hunger-fighting initiative.

Performing similar random acts of kindness can be fun and contagious. Once you start looking for ways to do something good for others, you start to feel good and want to keep going. Those around you can also sense the positive energy and be inspired to do the same.

Acts of kindness might feel good, but there are real benefits to being on the giving side, too. According to Blake Beattie, founder of Pay It Forward Day, these are just some benefits to being generous:

  • Doing good for others can have a powerful, positive effect on the immune system.
  • By contributing toward the greater good, self-worth and self-esteem improves.
  • It can prevent people from becoming isolated, encourage them to meet new people and step outside of their comfort zones.
  • Chronic negativity can be dismantled in the mind as positive energy flows from giving to others.
  • Studies have revealed kindness helps relieve stress, which is a huge problem in many workplaces.

With Thanksgiving next month, be sure to stop and think about all the reasons you have to be thankful. Then be sure to pass on that gratitude to others through a random act of kindness.

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Charitable Giving, Community Support
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