Pay it Forward Movement: Reverse trick-or-treating

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good work, therefore, any kindness or any service I can render to any soul of man or animal let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for I shall not pass this way again,” a Quaker saying.

On Halloween night, you may have heard a knock on your door.

You may have peered through the peephole to see three girls in dresses, dollar store tiaras on their heads grinning and a basket of candy in their arms.

You may have thought: “For real? Trick-or-treaters in Stone Ridge? Grow up.”

Then, reluctantly throwing the door open, you may have heard, “Reverse trick-or-treating!”

Instead of giving us candy, you were invited to take some of ours. I was elated during the reverse trick-or-treating and loved the childish excitement as roommates were called to come to the door to share in the Halloween cheer.

I also relished the chance to see the different faces of our community unite in a moment of festivity.

But, most of all, I treasured the smiles that stretched across the faces of our neighbors, all because we reversed a tradition of getting into an opportunity for giving.

It is so easy to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.

We have little time, a lot of stress and there is literally no time to do everything that we need to do.
So forget about finding time for everyone else.

College may be one of the least estranged communities — due to the intimacy of residence halls, classes and endless activities — but my personal testimony is that, most days, I numb myself to the masses around me as I rush across campus to cross off the next line on my agenda. Can anyone relate? But what if, instead of stumbling through our days in our own little universes, we pursue acts of kindness?

What if we strive to broaden our community?

I love the quotation with which I opened because of its sense of urgency.

It challenges us to be present and intentional with every moment that we live and it further encourages us to shift our focus from ourselves to those around us.

However, it is more than just a pep talk on doing good deeds.

It motivates us toward a richer existence one rooted in togetherness.

I do not know why it feels so good to be kind, but I think it is because we are meant to serve each other.We are meant to live for something more than ourselves.

So, Shippensburg, let us continue to pay it forward.

We all reap the benefits of good deeds.

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