AND Carry It Forward

May 17th, 2015

I was supposed to meet a friend after a quick errand to the bank. On the way, I passed the local high school. Out front was a very animated young man with a large sign. The sign read car wash. I was fascinated by how this industrious youth managed to make eye contact with passing cars and excitedly work to persuade some to enter the high school parking lot.

I continued on to the bank, vowing to stop on my way back. The same young man again made eye contact, and again attempted to persuade me to bring my car to the students for a wash. Laughing, as I remembered having earned my way to trips in school by participating in the same kinds of car washes, I pulled up to the young woman who greeted me.

I asked what they were raising money for and was told Odyssey of the Mind. After verifying that I had indeed heard of it, she explained that the car wash was donation-based. After paying her, I rolled up the windows and laughed out loud as no fewer than eight middle and high schoolers swarmed the car with brushes, hoses, and soapy cloths. It was a riot. I laughed out loud, as I listened to their banter and watched their antics. Sheer joy!

In a life that can get busy and overscheduled, we would do well to allow those things that touch our hearts to take us off schedule and into a realm where the joy of giving is eclipsed by what comes back. Before I pulled away, one student called an adult to do a “quality check”. She inspected the car and deemed it acceptable. The delight of that moment reconnected me with a time when I depended on the kindness and generosity of strangers to help me and my colleagues fund a dream. AND it reminded me that those of us who have been so generously supported are in the position to do the same for the next generation. Such acts return more than we give AND they remind us to carry it forward.

One Response to “AND Carry It Forward”

  1. Carolyn says:

    This week I lost one of my aunts – I had been blessed to be the niece for three wonderful sisters. Each had her own way of making me feel special, loved and supported. The knowledge that these women had my back – served as a support network that definitely enabled me to confidently step into my life. This I have and will continue to pay forward to our next generation. Love ya Aunt Syl- Carolyn

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