In the movie “Play it Forward”, a young boy, Trevor, reverses the usual order on giving. When he gives to people he doesn’t want them to pay him back but rather to give his generosity ‘forward’ to three other people, who, in turn, are to give forward generously. The idea challenges our assumptions on generosity. Too often we have some type of account system going on in our heads when we give: “I did that for him last week, so now he should…”, “I gave her that for her birthday and she didn’t thank me properly…” and then “Do they deserve it?” Well, if they deserved it, it wouldn’t be generosity on our part but justice.
It can be a tough old world and Trevor’s idea hits a few bumps but ultimately it transforms people’s lives. Even though he is ‘only a kid’, and one from a difficult, poor situation, he leads a rich life. Each of us know people in our community who, giving freely of themselves, have open hearts and full lives. Even if they have no things to give, they share a kind word and a smile. They are often very cluey to what games other people may be playing but they don’t let that stop their generosity. And they are good to be with – of course they are, they are like God.
In this coming week, think about a few of these generous hearted people that you know and point them out to your children. Let them know how such people are esteemed and loved. They are amongst the best role models you can give them.
Loving God, your generosity surrounds us all our days. May your Spirit transform our hearts that we may give as Jesus did – from a full and generous heart. We ask this in his name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris