09/3/11 Real Life with Jennifer Till: Pay It Forward

Would you give a kidney to a stranger? Would you buy a meal for the person behind you in the drive through, even though you have no idea who she is?

There are people that perform random acts of kindness and charity every day. For many of them, it is part of their belief in the power of a simple philosophy called Pay it Forward, from the book and movie of the same name. A daughter receives a kidney from a stranger, and her mother donates her own kidney to another stranger, forming links in a chain that stretch out months or even years.

When I asked listeners, “What kind things have you done?” I heard, “Weeding a neighbor’s garden while they’re on vacation”, “anonymously sharing home-baked cookies”, “paying the toll for the person behind”…Catherine Ryan Hyde told me of a “Pay It Forward” chain that lasted all day at a drive-thru restaurant.

What drives us to do kind things for people we don’t know, without even the pay-off of our “goodness” being affirmed by the recipient? Is there something other than the “pat on the back” or the “attaboy” that motivates us to do good. I wonder if people somehow feel connectedness at the core of their being. The Dalai Lama says that kindness is his religion. Mine too!

Join me as we both find out about Catherine Ryan Hyde’s experience of writing her book, “Pay It Forward,” and it being made into not only a movie but a foundation.

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