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Pay it Forward

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I just finished reading a fiction book called "Pay it Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  It is an easy to read story about a young boy who is given an assignment at school to think of something that will change the world.   He creates a project that is called "Pay it Forward" and it based on the idea that he does something kind/ helpful for 3 people, and each of those 3 people then do the same thing for 3 more people.  The idea is that it will ripple out into the world.  It is an easy read and inspired me to remember the importance of being generous and kind. 20 years ago I was about to get married.  My cousin had come from England for the wedding, and I had taken him for a day to Toronto to see Ontario Place and Harbour front.  I was showing him around when we walked into an art show on the boardwalk.  I saw a sign saying "Don Stinson Bowls" and so I went into the booth and introduced myself and told the man that I was marrying a good friend of his in one week.  Jim (my husband) had told me many stories about his friend Don who made bowls.  Jim and Don had worked together at Camp Tawingo, and had lived together while at University.  They had lost touch but I remembered his name on that day.  Without hesitating, Don smiled at me and gave me a big hug and said "Your marrying Hoppy, here take this" and proceeded to take this big beautiful bowl off his shelf and give it to me.  Of course I tried to refuse but he insisted.  My cousin from England was in awe of his generosity.  I haven't seen Don since that day and

Jim hasn't seen him in an even longer time.  We have used the beautiful bowl every time we have had a salad since we got married. This past weekend Jim  was cruising the art show in Haliburton and to his delight finds that Don has a booth in the show.  Jim hadn't seen him in over

20 years.  He spent Saturday hanging out with Don at his booth and catching up, and he introduced Don to everyone he knew in Haliburton!  I went down to meet Don, and his wife Joanne and told them how much we have loved and used the big salad bowl over the past 20 years. Every time some one new comes to our house for dinner they always comment on the bowl and we have told the story over and over.

Don has been a self-employed artist for his whole career.  His wife Joanne is a principle in the Kingston area and they live on a horse farm.  They have 3 grown children who are also lovely human beings. It was such a treat to meet/ re-connect with them.   Next year Don and Joanne will come and stay at our place while they are here for the art show. I'll make them the most delicious salad ever!   And I'll always remember his act of kindness many years ago.

P.S.  The art show was wonderful again and I loved the addition of the buskers!

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