Paying it Forward
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London and my son Jon were in a relationship. The seed for the relationship was planted through their shared love of philanthropy in raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network through Knight-Thon at the University of Central Florida. Both London and Jon have been raised to be generous with others. I’ve experienced that first-hand through London’s family and I have always modeled that for my sons. When you share of your time, talent and treasure with others, you help to elevate them from their challenges to a better place in life and I believe that’s part of our reason for being here — to leave the world a better place than how we found it through helping others. In so doing, we become better humans. For myself, that has meant mentoring at-risk youth, mentoring student journalists (I’m a professional freelance writer) and helping students put together their college essays so they can pursue their passions and share their skills with the world.
So, I know this is only a tiny example, but on a recent business trip I encountered some very rude TSA agents. In the process of trying to get through security, and make it to my flight I had the opportunity to help three people. The first was a soldier who was VERY new to being in the army. He was struggling with three extremely heavy bags, and I offered to help him. He didn’t have his boarding pass yet, and wasn’t sure how to get it. I got him to the right location and showed him how he could skip the line to auto-print his boarding pass. I then helped him carry his bags as far as I could before we had to go in separate directions. Once in line at security, an older gentleman was extremely stressed because he was going to miss his flight. I let him cut in front of me at the security line, and just told the people behind me that he was my uncle (ok…ok…ok, maybe not the most honest thing – but he was EXTREMELY grateful). I really think he would have missed his flight otherwise. Finally, a woman (who spoke no English) had lost her cell phone while getting through security. I quickly figured out that she probably left it in one of the plastic bins…so we kept searching through dozens of bins before finding it towards the bottom of the stack. She laughed and said something to me in Chinese and went on her way. We both smiled and even though we didn’t understand each other…I was grateful to help, and she was grateful for the assistance. To me, Living Like London means showing kindness to others – no matter what. Even when there are few (or no) people showing kindness to us, we step up and make the day better for as many people as we can touch.