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Because Kindness Keeps the World Afloat (Lyrics Below)

Because Kindness Keeps the World Afloat (Lyrics Below)

 “Pay It Forward” is a 2000 film starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt. Young Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment), troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey). The assignment is to “Think of an idea to change our world – and put it into action”. Trevor comes up with the idea of repaying a favor by paying it forward to three strangers. Before we know it, acts of kindness spread like wildfire and the lives of Trevor, his family and a growing number of seemingly unrelated people are changed forever.

I was deeply moved by that film and I think about it from time to time. I thought about the “pay it forward” concept when I saw the 2007 film “Evan Almighty“. In this film God (Morgan Freeman) is asking Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) to build an ark in order to save everyone from the flood. The real physical ark in the film represents the idea of ARK: Act of Random Kindness, which is the way by which, as the film claims, real change can happen in the world:

When Elevate recently came out with their big 11/11/11 release of PlayItFRWD the film came to my mind again for obvious reasons.

But something always bothered me about that film, something I wasn’t able to explain. Without getting into the spoiler-details of “Pay it Forward”, I’ll say the ending of this film has a painful twist to it, which made me wonder about the message it was trying to convey. For eleven years I tried to figure it out, and today I found the missing piece of the puzzle.

This morning somebody forwarded me a feel-good YouTube video. We all see a lot of those. This video was produced by an organization called Life Vest Inside and the interesting part is that the person who sent it was the teacher of my first grade daughter, letting the parents know the children watched this video in class and discussed it. After watching this video I immediately thought about “Pay It Forward” and realized what I couldn’t see all those years. Here’s the video:

As the world is getting smaller and smaller, and we become more connected to and dependent on everything else, we are slowly internalizing the idea that we are all one. When I accept that we are all one, I realize that every time someone else gets hurt, I get hurt as well, and every time I help someone, I actually help myself.

Over a decade ago ago, when “Pay It Forward” was made, society was portrayed as unable to nurture children who spread Kindness. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I feel grateful that at least in some schools, in addition to math, language and science, first graders are practicing Kindness.

What an incredible world it can become, if we succeed in teaching our children Kindness as a way of life.

One Day Lyrics by Matisyahu

sometimes I lay
under the moon
and thank God I’m breathing
then I pray
don’t take me soon
cause I am here for a reason
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around
because
all my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day x6
it’s not about
win or lose cause
we all lose
when they feed on the souls of the innocent
blood drenched pavement
keep on moving though the waters stay raging
in this maze you can lose your way (your way)
it might drive you crazy but don’t let it faze you no way (no way)
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around
because
all my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day x6
one day this all will change
treat people the same
stop with the violence
down with the hate
one day we’ll all be free
and proud to be
under the same sun
singing songs of freedom like
one day x4
all my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day x6
ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!


2 Responses to “Because Kindness Keeps the World Afloat (Lyrics Below)”

  1. Dan M. says:

    The posting is touching and moving and, indeed, thoughts stimulating.
    Prior to telling anything about the world, or people, or children, or education, etc., this posting tells about its author, about his heart’s tendency, his sensitivity, his kindness and his desire for a better world for his daughter.
    The author of this posting, if he is not already committed, will make a wonderful and an exceptional partner to any kind hearted young lady.
    But alas! Our world consists also of human weaknesses, egoistic interests,lust for power-control-and-victory, not to mention fanaticisms of many kinds, religious and others.
    So, what should we educate our children for in this world of ours, ARK or SFSS (Struggle for Survival and Success)? Or perhaps both?

    • Ilan says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts – your words moved me and I am grateful that you chose to respond to this post in the way that you did.

      Based on what’s happening right now in the world around us, things would most likely become more challenging before they become easier, and I agree we all need a good mix of optimism and realism. Not everybody is able to constantly choose kindess, generosity and vulnerability over ego, doubts and fears, and the ability to identify negative energy, accept it for what it is, and protect oneself from it is an essential skill we can all benefit from.

      When I was younger and less aware, I developed a protective shield to keep this negative energy out. Years later I discovered I was a prisoner of my own walls. I found myself cut off from the world and unable to maintain an authentic connection with others. Now I believe that a better way to experience being human is to keep myself as open as I can and invest my energy on strengthening my core instead of building a wall. This way I can truly experience life.

      The world is changing fast, and I have no doubt it’ll be very different when my 7-year old daughter grows up and become a mature woman. I pray that she, and her generation, would have enough self-love, self-trust and self-worth so that kindness, generosity and vulnerability could become their daily reality.

  2. […] in school, alongside ‘Being a Woman’ for girls and basic interpersonal skills such as Kindness and Generosity for […]

  3. […] in cannot and my costume to interface with the world as I view myself. I will carry with me kindness, generosity and big bags of smiles, hugs and good intentions, and look for opportunities to gift them to those in need. I will carry with me at all times the […]

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