By Kirsten Scott
If you're like me, you've never heard of Catherine Ryan Hyde (until now). She's the author of the book Pay It Forward, which was later turned into a movie starring Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, and Kevin Spacey. The concept of Pay It Forward is simple--someone does you a favor, and instead of trying to pay them back you pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. I was going to start this blog with a picture from that movie, but--DUH--this is a blog about AUTHORS and BOOKS, so I decided to go for the original. :-)
I was the receipient of a random act of extreme kindness recently, and I'm still reeling. An author I had never met judged one of my manuscripts in a contest, and contacted me afterward to tell me she loved the partial and wanted to introduce me to her agent or her editor, anything she could do to help get it sold.
(I still get the shivers when I look at her email.)
It was an incredibly kind gesture, and did wonders for my tender writer's ego.
About a month ago, I was on a plane by myself and in the seats next to me were a mother and her fifteen month and four year old kids. I spent the plane ride entertaining the four year old, because the fifteen month old was screaming (LOUDLY) and he quieted down only if she walked up and down the aisle with him. I held the little one for a while, too, to give her a break. I'd like to think that was a pay it forward moment for me. Of course, I'm still looking for another opportunity to pass on the kindness that was given to me.
I love the Pay It Forward idea, and I think we all Pay It Forward, whether we do so consciously or not. So toot your own horn--when did you Pay It Forward? Or when did someone treat you to an act of random kindness? We'd love to hear your stories.