Sunday, April 20, 2014

filling the bank

We don't have AAA roadside assistance. If our car broke down, I suppose we'd just wait for a passing motorist to help or we'd call a tow truck and foot the bill. Based on a story I heard on NPR yesterday, most likely we'd be coughing up some cash for the tow.

Justin Horner first told his story in the New York Times and I heard him retell it to Lynne Rosetto Kasper on the Splendid Table. He broke down the highway and waited and waited for someone to help him; he was about to give up when an immigrant family pulled over and spent three hours helping him fix the flat tire. Not only did they help for hours but they refused his $20 and instead gave him a tamale for lunch.

Mr. Horner now stops to help others on the side of the road, "filling the bank" he says. And when the recipients of his help thank him, he tells them what was originally said to him: "Today you, tomorrow me."

Paying it forward, filling the bank, increasing your karma. If we stop for a moment to observe the interconnectedness of our lives with other members of our community and if we stop for a moment to notice how our actions affect ourselves and others, it's easily apparent that paying it forward is easy, beneficial, nice, and necessary.

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