Pay it forward

be-the-changeThe words ‘pay it forward’ are tossed around rather casually these days. As cliché as these words are, the consequences behind them are genuine and powerful.

Our family has at long last entered the 21st century. Toll roads are prevalent here in Central Florida. At traditional toll booths, real people ask for your dollar in exchange for the privilege of driving on some of Florida’s most traveled corridors.

Recently succumbing to the allure of SunPass, we are now able to avoid those long toll lines and cruise by a sensor at 70 mph. The necessary funds for the toll are automatically withdrawn from our account. Funny thing is, I sometimes miss those toll booths.

Every so often, our family would pull up to one of those booths with two dollars in our hand, one dollar for our own toll as well as one dollar for the car behind us. It felt good to perform a random act of kindness, to watch an occasional smile spread across the attendant’s face. It’s enlightening to notice that your kind acts not only affect the lives you touch directly. They also impact others who are peripherally witnessing your goodwill.

On one day, we learned that this pay it forward toll movement that was started by a single individual carried on for more than 50 cars that followed! Each person could have simply said ‘thank you’ and carried on their way. Instead, each car decided to pay it forward (or backwards, as it may be in this case) to cover the toll of the car behind them. Just the thought of this benevolence inspires me to bestow future acts of random kindness upon others.

There are people all over the world who pay it forward each and every day. Think about what our lives would be like if everyone cared only about themselves. If no acts of generosity were freely shared with others, we would occupy one bitter society. It is those who pay it forward that add a spring to our step and restore our faith in humanity.

Through this blog, I have been fortunate to attract like-minded people into my virtual online sphere. These individuals have shared unique perspectives on the views expressed in my writing. They have provided inspiration of their own to make me think, laugh, act, and express myself more deeply through my words. I undertook writing as a solitary process. But, it became so much more when I was able to share it with others. When I am able to express my authentic self and have it make a difference to even one other person, the gratification of the entire writing process grows exponentially. We all want to make a difference and we all can.

versatilebloggerToday, I was nominated by a fellow writer for the versatile blogger award. This is an award given by fellow bloggers as a sign of appreciation, respect, and support for their offerings to the blogosphere. I am very touched and honored to be included as a part of this wonderful community. I have had the opportunity to meet, albeit virtually, many people over the last several months. Through their own writing, I have been inspired to express myself and live life with more energy, clarity, and conviction.

A sincere thank you to Sara at BeTheLoveOfLife who has nominated me for this award. Her blog about life, love, and the love of life is an inspiration to all those who want to cultivate fullness in mind, body, heart, and soul. If you haven’t already done so, you owe it to yourself to check out her blog at BeTheLoveOfLife.

There are an agreed upon set of rules that accompany this award. In the true spirit of paying it forward, you are asked to nominate up to 15 other bloggers to receive this award. I have chosen those blogs that have provided me with what I like to call my daily caffeine for the soul. When I sit down first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee, these bloggers have provided virtual caffeine through their words to help kick-start my day.

RandomOlio, PrincessOfTheLight, LifestyleDiva, ApartmentWife, BourbonTea, UntamedSlave, TheKneeDeepLife, ProjectLightToLife, MindfulStew, CreatriceMondial

In addition to passing this torch on to others, you are asked to share seven things that people might not know about you. Reader beware 😉

  1. After a big meal, I have a bowl of salad and a slice of bread. I don’t know why.
  2. I like the smell of new books.
  3. I love Mexican food, but I severely dislike cilantro (and beets, but that has no relevance).
  4. I have an uncanny ability to pronounce words backwards and confuse the heck out of people. Just because I can. Useless, but interesting and fun. Try it some time.
  5. I am fascinated by numbers, codes, and patterns.
  6. I didn’t own a smartphone until 9 months ago. I was afraid it would be smarter than me. As it turns out, it probably is.
  7. I was married at Disney World where dreams really do come true. I love you sunshine 😉

As one of my recent posts indicates, the four words that best define my view on life are “inspire and be inspired”. I have been inspired by the actions, thoughts, words, and feelings of my wife, my son, and my friends (both live and virtual). My wish is to reciprocate those inspiring moments, in some small way, with the intention of paying it forward.

You may be only one person in this world, but to one person at one time, you are the world. ~Anonymous

Be the world to that person. A smile given to another is a smile received in your soul.


20 thoughts on “Pay it forward

  1. apartmentwife August 13, 2013 / 8:43 am

    it’s such an honor to be nominated for an award by someone that writes with such integrity and sincerity. i’m excited to get to know the other bloggers that you nominated, and find out what connects all of us 🙂 perhaps one day we’ll all get together for some mexican? i promise to bring bread for you to eat after (someone else will have to find the salad)

    thanks again 🙂

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 8:50 am

      You are certainly welcome. Thank you for the very kind words and the morning laugh 🙂 Have an inspired day!

  2. MRS N, the Author August 13, 2013 / 10:04 am

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for nominating me for this award! Paying it forward is not just a movement but a mindset! Being kind to complete strangers expecting nothing in return is the basis of a happy and healthy life. 🙂

    I love the idea of Mexican, too! I’ll bring the salad. 🙂

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 10:58 am

      You are very welcome! Also, another great insight that paying it forward is a mindset and not a movement. I am realizing that paying it forward also applies to family and friends as much as it applies to complete strangers.

      Sharing an act of kindness with no return expectations is an incredibly valuable daily practice. Sometimes, we take our family and friends for granted without even realizing it. Paying it forward with these people closest to us is as important as anything 😉

      Have an inspired day!

  3. Niki Richardson August 13, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Dave I’m so moved that you nominated me for this award. Thank you. I will most certainly pay it forward and list the seven things about me too. Thank you for the motivation to keep writing – there were certainly days when I wondered if anyone was reading! If my words can help even one person they are worth writing for!

    Thank you again!

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 11:00 am

      You are very welcome! You echoed my sentiments exactly that words helping even one person are worth writing for. Have an inspired day!

  4. Kat August 13, 2013 / 12:03 pm

    I am absolutely thrilled and touched that you have nominated me for this award. Thank you so much! You have made my day and I am really looking forward to ‘paying it forwards’. You are one in a million and to think my words have inspired you leaves me grinning from ear to ear. Thank you x

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 12:28 pm

      You are very welcome! I hope you have an inspired day with much more ear to ear grinning 😉

  5. Amy Lynne Hayes August 13, 2013 / 1:42 pm

    Congratulations on the award!! Your posts are always so thoughtful and heartfelt, I’m not surprised in the least that you received this recognition. I am very honored to in turn be nominated by you, and you can definitely expect me to pay it forward and spread the love. Thank you again and looking forward to more of your insightful writing!! 🙂

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 1:48 pm

      You are very welcome and thank you for your very kind words! I wish you an inspired and enjoyable day 😉

  6. Donna Roberts August 13, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    Beautifully stated. 🙂 Congrats on the award!

    • davecenker August 13, 2013 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you Donna 😉 I appreciate you stopping by and providing your comments. I hope you have an inspired day!

  7. projectlighttolife August 13, 2013 / 8:36 pm

    Thank you so much for the nomination 🙂 I love your blog! And I loved reading the facts about you; that’s so neat you were married at Disney!

    • davecenker August 14, 2013 / 9:07 am

      You are very welcome! Your projects epitomize the concept of paying it forward. It is very inspiring to see someone take initiative to provide those random acts of kindness and share the ideas with others. Have an inspired day!

  8. snhamlett August 14, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    I’m so glad you stopped by my blog today… it’s the loveliest thing to run across kindred spirits and you’ve led me to several others today as well! Thanks so much!

    • davecenker August 14, 2013 / 5:15 pm

      It’s a very serendipitous world we live in 😉 I am happy to have provided a little ray of light in your day. Have an inspired day!

  9. alyssamichellefrench August 18, 2013 / 10:39 am

    First of all, congratulations on the award! Sara could not have picked a more worthy blogger! And thank you so much for passing along this nomination. I’m touched that such an awesome blogger thought of me(: I truly appreciate all of your kindness and support throughout the early stages of my blogging career, and I’ve been so moved by many of your posts. Thank you again Dave!

    • davecenker August 18, 2013 / 12:49 pm

      You are very welcome and thank you for your very kind words! The blogging world has proven to be such a wonderful community and I am very thankful to have crossed paths with everyone I have met virtually (yourself included) 😉 I look forward to future insights on your blog and hope that you have an inspired day!

  10. thewritertracy August 21, 2013 / 11:31 am

    Congrats on your nomination! Love this post, love that 50 people in a row paid it forward at a toll booth. Wow how can that not make you feel good?! The spreading of kindness can never be wrong.

    • davecenker August 21, 2013 / 11:44 am

      Kindness is certainly contagious in the best way possible. I am happy that you enjoyed the article and hope that it inspires many more smiles throughout your day 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and providing your kind comments, it is greatly appreciated!

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