Friday, September 21, 2012
Are You Silently Incredible?
Several years ago I watched a movie called "Pay It Forward" that touched my heart to the core. The new social studies teacher gives his students an assignment to come up with some idea that will improve or change the world. Young Trevor thinks seriously about this assignment and comes up with just such a plan. You see his notion to change the world is to find 3 people and do a good deed for them, something that they can't do for themselves. Instead of them paying him back for his good deed they are ask to "pay it forward," ... to each find 3 people to bless who each one will do the same for 3 more people.
Trevor's choices to try and help are a homeless man, his physically scarred teacher and a classmate of his that is a constant victim of bullying. After attempting to help the first two he feels like a failure and stops but eventually as the story goes on he is found by a journalist who has been crossing the nation trying to find the originator of the "pay it forward" movement. You see, though Trevor tried to help the homeless man (Jerry) who was addicted to drugs it didn't go well. Jerry eventually leaves town but in the midst of his "bad" place he finds a woman about to commit suicide by jumping off the side of a bridge and talks her down. He can't ignore her needs and walk on as if nothing is going on. The seed of "paying it forward" had been planted in him and just needed time to grow. And it does continue to move forward story after story. Then a journalist becomes the recipient of a brand new Jaguar S-type car after his old Ford Mustang is damaged in a car accident. When he ask why the man was giving him this brand new car he was told that he was just "paying it forward." As he listens to the stories he tracks them back till he eventually finds 12 year old Trevor. Unknown to Trevor, this journalist is evidence that he has not failed. He has silently affected the lives of many people across the nation that he would never know and never meet. So the journalist conducts an interview with Trevor to find out what he was thinking. Trevor explains how "paying it forward" works and explains what his hopes were. He then goes on to explain his concerns that many people are just too afraid to change their own lives in order to make the world a better place.
After the interview, Trevor leaves the classroom and hears the sounds of his friend that is being bullied once again. Even if he couldn't help the others, this is one person he can help. He goes to his classmates defense and ends up being pushed into the main bully who was brandishing a knife. Trevor gets stabbed in the abdomen and sadly enough dies from the stabbing.
Whether because of his death or not the "pay it forward" movement goes nationwide and hundreds of people gather outside of his home to pay their respects to him with a stream of cars visible in the distance all carrying those to are coming to honor Trevor.
Trevor ... in this story.... is silently incredible. He wasn't asking for attention. All he wanted to do was positively affect the lives of those around him. He didn't want people to owe him and he wasn't looking for recognition by others of this "wonderful" thing he'd done for someone. He just wanted to make a difference in someones life.
Are you silently incredible?