whoever you want to be…

Paying it Forward (or, er, not…)


Last week I saw a status on Facebook about the Pay-it-Forward initiative, whereby the poster of the status agrees to do something nice for the first five people to respond – the only caveat being that they too have to sign up to the initiative and do something nice for others. I didn’t think twice about signing up, both to the original post offering to do something nice for me and the subsequent one offering to do something nice for others, and I thought that others would have the same reaction. But, it would seem, I was wrong.

One friend (who shall remain nameless) immediately sent a joke message ridiculing the initiative – though did later apologise and call it ‘nice – in a gay sort of way.’ Apart from that: Radio silence. That’s right, for several hours not ONE person said they would like to receive something nice, for free, over the course of the next year. And, even now (a full week after the post), only TWO people have responded – despite five places being offered. I’ve even resorted to extending the offer to the two people who ‘liked’ the post – one of whom was the person who brought the initiative to my attention in the first place.

I have a theory that if it was simply a chance to receive and not also a request to give I would have been inundated, but the sad truth seems to be that people can’t be bothered to take it upon themselves to commit to doing nice things for others. I’ll admit the initiative is cheesy, but what’s wrong with a bit of cheese once in a while? Is it not a refreshing antidote to the vast swathes of negativity, hatred and misery in the world?

Maybe I’m being oversensitive and should realise that the lack of response to a status that many will have deemed to be cheesy and annoying is not in itself indicative of a deep-rooted societal malaise when it comes to reaching out and helping our fellow human beings. Or maybe, just maybe, we are all becoming harder of heart than ever before. Either way I feel a sense of disappointment that my attempt to spread genuine joy and happiness has been thwarted – not just by mockery, but also overwhelming ambivalence.

On a more positive note, there’s still one place up for grabs…Any takers?


About Belle365

Hi, I’m Belle. Thanks for stopping by. Here's a list of ten things about me: 1. I want to write, but rarely do it. This tortures me daily, and, unless I seek to remedy it by writing more often, will continue to torture me until my dying day. 2. I worry: about hate, about greed, about selfishness, about the state of the world my (God willing) children will inherit. I worry about what people think of me. I worry that this makes me shallow. I worry about things happening to my loved ones. I worry how I would cope. I worry that this makes me selfish. I worry that worrying will send me to an early grave. But I'm so good at worrying that I also wonder what I would do if I wasn't worrying. Probably more writing (see point 1)....Oh. 3. I see myself as two people (though, as far as I am aware, I am not technically schizophrenic): a) the fancy dress loving party girl, who loves nothing more than having fun with her friends, because she has seen through her own experiences that life is short, so why not enjoy the ride? b) the more serious and reflective person who wants to learn and to help people and to find her higher purpose (I suspect it is also she who really, really wants to write). Sometimes these sides are conflicting. Fortunately they are in total agreement when it comes to chocolate, red wine and travel. 4. I don't see myself as an ardent feminist, but the older I get the more frustrated I feel by the societal view of women and ageing. Having just hit the metabolically displeasing age of 35 (now officially past it according to the massive wankflap that is Donald Trump, as well as virtually every media outlet on the planet, whether they overtly state it or not) I hate the fact I am made (and have let myself be manipulated) to feel that my fertility is now teetering on the edge of a clifftop free fall, and that even if I do negotiate this rocky march towards infertility and manage a miracle procreation, my usefulness as a financially solvent career woman will be over, seeing as having a baby in your mid to late thirties is pretty much akin to career suicide. It's enough to make you want to drown yourself in a vat of wine (hence why I often don a wig and do just that - see point 3a). 5. The older I get, the more I realise that you are never too old to love drum and bass (whether you are ever too old to publicly dance to drum and bass is an issue I am currently grappling with). Ditto UK garage. I will never be ashamed of these two great loves. Never. 6. Speaking of great loves, I have two: my husband, who (sickening as it is) completes me, and Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I have loved since I first laid eyes on him as Romeo to Kate Winslet's Juliet, and will love until my dying day (likewise the husband, all being well). As much as I like Kate Winslet, I will never forgive her for leaving him on that door. There was definitely room for two. 7. I am riddled with self doubt, and have a serious case of imposter syndrome, particularly in relation to my fourteen year communications career. I have never understood how anyone could deem me capable of running their campaigns. The lack of complaints would suggest I haven't made a total balls up of it so far. But there's still time. 8. Infinity and death frighten me senseless. I can't even talk about the universe without breaking into a sweat. I need to believe in life after death because death CANNOT be the end. I should probably have some (more) counselling to address these issues. 9. If procrastination were an Olympic sport, I would win Gold, Silver and Bronze (to give an example, I sat down an hour ago to work on my new novel, and instead have been updating this bio. I refer you to point 1. Sigh). 10. I make more lists than Buzzfeed. When I die, besides having Oasis's Champagne Supernova played at my funeral (deep breaths - see point 8), I should probably have a To Do list inscribed on my headstone for when I reach the other side...

4 comments on “Paying it Forward (or, er, not…)

  1. liveotherwise
    January 29, 2014

    The reason that I haven’t signed up for any of the many of these I’ve seen on my fb timeline over the last couple of weeks, is that I know myself. I know that I’ll start out with all good intentions. I’ll send whatever I think of to the first person on the list. and then life will get in the way and it’ll get harder and harder to remember that I’ve got it to do, and I’ll get to the end of the year and someone won’t have been paid.

    How do I know this? I’ve signed up to pay it forward many times before. And more times than I’ve succeeded, I’ve failed.

    I won’t be the only one thinking that way.

  2. Clodagh Murphy
    January 30, 2014

    I have also seen many of these on my FB timeline, and haven’t signed up for the exact same reason. I know things will get in the way, and I’ll be busy and end up forgetting about it.

    Furthermore, I know that I’ll start flailing about what to do for someone and get stressed about it and it’ll end up being just another annoying chore – which isn’t really in the spirit of the thing.

    To be honest, I’m not surprised many people didn’t sign up – especially as everyone probably has quite a few other people in their timeline doing it, so they might have signed up on someone else’s already.

  3. Belle365
    January 30, 2014

    Hi Both, that’s completely fair enough. Better not to sign up to it at all if you don’t think you can see it through. I plan to set bi-monthly reminders on my phone to prompt me to send something to one person on the list each time. Whilst I understand your reasons I see this as something fun, and the thought of my friends’ smiling faces when they receive their ‘surprise’ will make me follow through.

  4. Keris
    February 2, 2014

    I signed up for this at the beginning of last year and then totally failed to send anything to any of the people who signed up. I WILL send something soon (and it’ll be even more of a surprise, right?). I got a card from the original poster after about six months, I think, and I loved receiving it – it made me really happy. So I definitely think it’s worth doing (and a reminder is a great idea).

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on January 29, 2014 by in Bea Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , , .
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