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April 30, 2010

Pick It Up...Pay It Forward.

Did you know that yesterday was Pay It Forward Day?  A very cool idea inspired by the movie (which if you have never seen, you really should put it on your short is awesome!!).

Anyhow, the whole idea of Pay It Forward Day is to take a moment to practice some random act of kindness.  I heard of people paying for coffee for the person behind them in line, or leaving money at the toll booth for the next couple cars that passed through. There are hundreds of ways to make a difference...what matters is taking the time to do it.

Anyhow, I wanted to participate in some way...but sadly, my wallet was empty yesterday so all of those real "pay" it forward opportunities were out the window.  I decided instead to make a conscious effort to pick up any trash that I saw on the ground while I was walking from point A to B during the day.  It wasn't much, but it was what I could do at the moment.

First thing I noticed was a weathered lottery ticket (much to my chagrin it was a losing ticket), then a candy bar wrapper, then, conveniently, an plastic grocery bag, then an empty to-go food container. The more I paid attention to this effort, the more debris I noticed all over the place, and in the two short blocks that I walked on this little suburban street, I filled that plastic grocery bag with trash.

When I reached my destination and put that overflowing plastic bag into the trash receptacle I couldn't help but wonder, where did all this debris come from?  And what ever happened to the "Don't Be a Litter Bug" campaign?   In a world that's so conscientious about the environment, are there just as many people who are getting lazy?

I know it wasn't much in terms of paying it forward -- but I guess the lesson I learned is that you don't have to spend a dime to make a difference.

So now I'm going to ask you...will you join me in my efforts?  Pick it up...and Pay it forward!