My back tire blew as I was driving over the Granville Street bridge in rush-hour traffic.
It wasn't a slow leak. It was a loud and sudden jolt and swerve. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
This happened more than a few years ago when I lived in Vancouver, but it’s a memory that will always stick with me.
I hobbled to the far lane and limped off the bridge with my blown tire sort of intact. Madly scanning for a place to pull over, I spotted a mechanic shop. It was Sunday and it was closed, but I needed to stop and access the situation.
My son, Connor and I got out of my candy red VW bug and kind of stood them dumbfounded, staring at the shredded remains of my back tire. But our eyes suddenly noticed the owner of the shop as he came out from a side door, wiping his greasy hands on a well-used rag and looking at the car, not us.
I think I mouthed the word, 'help'. He exhaled and told me to drive it around to the back. I silently obliged.
In no time at all he put on my spare tire, then looked at me for the first time.
"Pay it forward", he said. "If my wife and son were out somewhere and this happened to them, I'd wanna know someone had their back too. So, pay it forward".
That moment is one of those special 'humanity is gonna be all right' moments I keep inside me to this day. His actions, his words, his sincerity were aligned, and it was not only felt by me, it was received and duplicated in multiple ways many times over.
Paying it forward may sound like an old concept, and it is - its origins come from 1916 and it was polished up and made popular again in 2000 - but when someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, passing it on to another person instead, is timeless. It's a social movement that should never go out of style and usage.
I still thrill whenever I initiate the act. And I wanted to remind you today that's it's highly recommended with the current energetics.
Love, Jonni, driving forward with humility and humanity
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