I believe that acts of kindness have the capability of being transferred from one person to another. In other words, if you are kind to someone, they will carry that kindness along with them, and treat others they encounter with kindness. The opposite can also be true. If you are upset one day, and decide to scream at someone, they will most likely become upset as well. The choice you make is yours, and it can impact all of those around you.
I first realized the transferring of kindness when I was only eleven years old. I was in my faith formation class, and my teacher was talking to us about one of his personal stories. He was steadily driving down the Harris County Toll Road, coming home from a hard day’s work. When my teacher reached the toll booth, the booth manager said so “Sir, the man in front of you just paid for you, you can go ahead and pass through.” My teacher replied “Well that was very kind of him. I’ll tell you what; I’ll pay for the guy that’s waiting in line behind me, that way he can pass for free.” The man behind him arrived at the booth, heard the good news, and decided to pay for the person waiting behind him. This cycle continued through many more drivers, each driver ended up paying for the person behind him. The driver did not even have to know or care who was waiting behind them, and through the everlasting chain of kindness, they still ended up paying for the person waiting in line behind them.
This concept is very similar to the concept that the main character used in the movie Pay It Forward (2000). A young boy becomes very intrigued about his social studies assignment,
which was to think of something that can change the world, and put it into action. The boy believes that he has the ability of changing the entire world not by paying favor back to people, but paying it forward to others. Instead of paying someone back for something kind they have done, he pushes their kindness forward to three other beings by treating them with kindness. Eventually, the kindness that originated in a single person had spread to entirely different regions, not even close to where the affection started.
There is also a flipside to acting kind towards others; some people may seem to be too kind, and this is not always a good thing. There are certain people in the world who seek those who behave with vast amounts kindness, and take advantage of it. They constantly suck the kindness out of others, and keep it all for themselves instead of paying it forward to others who still haven’t encountered any act of kindness. Even though there are the few who misuse the act of kindness, I strongly believe this concept of paying forward kindness will work, and I am willing to put it to the test.