Saturday, June 13, 2009
Pay It Forward
Tonight after work Todd and I went out for a drink at a martini bar in Newport. Sitting there, a woman kept bumping into me from behind, but I didn't mind. Chalk it up to being drunk. Here's to you! But soon after, she came over to say hello. I then thought, "hmm, she's not so bad after all..."
We began chatting and at a brief pause in conversation, I noticed something she had on her wrist as she sipped her pomegranate martini. A beautiful beaded red bracelet, which looked gorgeous on her tan wrist. Of course I commented and told her I loved it because that's how I am!
She then proceeded to take it off of her wrist, and with a huge smile, slipped it on MY wrist. She told me that she was paying it forward, and I would have to too. "Bead for Life."
I said, "what does this all mean? Are you sure you want to GIVE me your bracelet?!" She explained that she spent time in Belize and Uganda, and that Ugandan women make bracelets out of recycled paper. She was rather intoxicated and apologized for her demeanor, and I told her not to worry and that I would check out the bracelet's website as soon as I got home. I assured her that she had stumbled upon the right person to have given this bracelet to, as I would later find out that this whole concept was VERY neat.
I went to the website http://www.beadforlife.org/index.html when I got home tonight. Come to find out, Bead For Life is an organization of Ugandan women who create beautiful jewelry out of recycled paper and by doing so, eradicate extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between African women and concerned world citizens.
By accepting this bracelet from this woman, Maria, I am therefore accepting the task of telling the world about this organization and how women in Uganda depend on this job as a means of supporting their family, sending their children to school, providing food for their loved ones, receiving medical care, etc etc.
It was such a beautiful thing to be able to share this experience with this random woman tonight at the bar, and I am honored to be wearing this beaded Ugandan bracelet tonight. I look forward to the time when some stranger at a bar says to me, "I like your bracelet!" and it will then be MY duty to slip it on HER hand and explain to her what meaning it has behind it.
So in conclusion:
Pay it forward.