Paying it Forward

In the spirit of the season I dedicate this post to all who need hope or inspiration. We live in precarious times of transition and uncertainty. However we can all be lifted by the power of giving to others. Giving is about extending a hand, a smile, a hug or shoulder to cry on.

And this's just about a phone call.

This is the story of my colleague, Joe* (Names have been protected).  He's a kind hearted intelligent man who believes in personal and professional development. He's someone you can really get excited about because he believes in making the world a better place by doing things for others.  He's got multiple degrees, a passion for life and a heart of gold.

Joe joined my team 2 years ago when I was managing a global programme in IT.  He joined at a time when we were in great need of resources as we sought to deploy 10+ projects and workstreams at a given time.  Joe brought a lot of enthusiasm and joy to the team.  I was only around for about 6 months and left this team to take my current role but Joe never stopped coming by or keeping up with me.  He is a relationship focused person. 

As the winds of change began to settle late last year and into 2009, we saw many people faced with the reality of having to post for new jobs or leave the company.  Joe received early warning he would need to find a job by the end of 2009 or have to leave.  A few days before Thanksgiving this year, he received a dreaded letter that he had 45 days left despite the numerous roles and dead ends in his job search.

Joe called me this week to see if I could put in a good word for him on a job he recently applied for in another business.  I applauded his call for help (not everyone is comfortable asking)  Of course I would help!  I don't know the manager but what does it hurt to pick up the phone!?

I called the posting manager and we spoke at length about Joe.  As a result, he had an interview today and will find out next week if he's going to be offered the position. 

Joe called me today to tell me he's so grateful that if he is awarded the role he will donate a sum of money to charity -- because he says "there are so many people that just need a little boost".

Wow.  The power to change the world through giving.  You give of yourself and they give.  It's pretty potent stuff.  It gave me a rash of goosebumps when he told me how grateful he was of my one simple act -- a phone call.  

I will go home today with a huge grin on my face. I feel so good right now.  No matter what happens on Monday, I gave someone hope and inspired them to press on. Why?  Because countless people in my life have done it for me when I needed a boost ... when I needed hope...a hug..a smile...a prayer.

The power of giving.  Do you know it?  Do you feel it?  Have you had the opportunity to witness it as a receiver or giver?  Tell are YOU paying it forward?

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