Kindness Unlimited: Winnipeg Residents Pay It Forward

Winnipeg Sunset by Dan McKay

A helping hand can be a lifeline for those in need of help. And residents of Winnipeg, Canada seem to be embracing the notion of paying it forward with kindness.

According to Yahoo News, Winnipeg residents have taken the adage, love thy neighbor, to heart as they go out of their way to help complete strangers.

One such example is photographer Ryan Paul. Yahoo News reports that he’s been buying coffee for strangers on every Monday for months. He tells the barista to wish the usually surprised recipient a “Happy Monday!”

Ryan was quoted by Yahoo News, “I figured it would be a nice surprise.”

Such gestures evoke instant smiles and a sense of well-being within the city’s populace. When a stranger paid for Maya Kotecha’s tea at a local coffee shop, she was surprised and delighted.

Maya was quoted by Yahoo News, “Its $2, but it made me feel great.”

But Winnipeg residents are doing more than just ‘pouring it forward!’ Random acts of kindness abound in this beautiful city. Last month, Good News Guardian posted a story about a generous Winnipeg bus driver, who took off his own shoes for a barefooted homeless man on a chilly morning.

Similar stories are making headlines in publications such as the Winnipeg Free Press, with people sending in their experiences.
Drawing a parallel to the movie, Pay It Forward, where strangers help those in need, Paul Chute, a Winnipeg resident, talks about his own brush with unexpected kindness.

“I would like to thank all the kind people who stopped to help me…” Paul Chute wrote on the Free Press blog after an automotive mishap.  “I am especially grateful to an off-duty paramedic who came to my rescue and made sure I was okay and stayed with me until the ambulance arrived.”

Another resident who had a pay-it-forward experience, Fern Lee, shares her story from the grocery store: “When I got home, I realized I did not have my leather gloves. Although they are somewhat old, they would be expensive to replace. I returned to [the store] where the staff told me a gentleman said I’d left them in the shopping cart. He did not leave his name. So to that kind gentleman, thank you. I will pay it forward,” she wrote on the blog.

In a world where many are wrongly focused primarily on their own well-being, Winnipeg provides an outstanding example of goodness. Ego is a bad part of ourselves that makes us think we are separate from each other. As we really are all one, helping others is the best way to help improve everything around us.

Such an example of goodness that a Winnipeg Pay It Forward Day was setup online.

Wendy Dawson posted on the Facebook page:

…This is a good opportunity to help teach my child about giving instead of getting and about sharing our abundance – whether its our time, effort, money or extra coupons. Each of us in our own way, however great can make someone smile this day, and any day…

Giving is wonderful, and Wendy has the right idea.

There are a few on the Facebook page bragging about their good deeds in order to seek recognition. Unfortunately, that recognition is all they’ll get in return. Give to others without an expectation of receiving anything back. This is the proper way to pay it forward.

While Winnipeg’s weather is bitterly cold, this chill is negated by its people, who are leading the way in spreading warmth and cheer through random acts of kindness. Let’s hope this spirit of generosity trespasses beyond its borders and into communities across the globe!

Sources: Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Winnipeg Free Press.  Picture: Dan McKay.

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