Paying it Forward…a son’s perspective

We are all familiar with the principal of “Pay it Forward”, if not here is a brief summary of what it means.

It was originated by 11 year old Trevor McKinney from Las Vegas. His social studies teacher has given the assignment of “putting into action a plan that would change the world for a better”.

Trevor’s concept is simple: You do a good deed for someone, if they want to repay you, ask them to “pay it forward” and not repay you. Ask them to do good deed for 3 people they don’t know. And have those 3 people do the same for 3 more and so on. The idea is to spread goodness throughout the world.

Because of Trevor’s idea, the concept is now a worldwide practice! It’s amazing; this simple concept has come from an 11 year old.

This now brings me to my “a son’s perspective”. My father has been an example of this practice without even knowing it!

Growing up, I watched my father work for the railroad and later became an automotive mechanic working for a major retail chain (working his way up to management there) and the City of Wichita, KS. He has always been a hard worker and was able to provide a good life for his wife and 4 boys. Were we rich? No, but, we lived a comfortable life.

He has done a fantastic job of doing that!

I moved away from my parents when I was in my late 20s, I now find myself back in Wichita after 20 years away from them.

Dad is now retired and I am impressed watching him every day! He heads up the neighborhood watch program and is continually keeping the neighbor’s updated on activities in the area. He even writes a monthly Neighborhood Watch newsletter. Dad makes an effort to know all of the neighbors and help them with anything they may incur!

He goes for an early morning walk every day. If the neighbor’s newspapers are on their lawns, Dad will put them on their front porch for them. When any of the neighbors go on vacations, Dad is always asked to either check their mail or keep an eye on their house. If anybody has car issues, He is more than willing to look at it and gives advice or does simple fixes it for them. He also volunteer’s at a local Non Profit Center that feeds the homeless and the less fortunate families.

My father does not know the concept of “Pay it Forward”, He just does for his fellow man and never ask for anything in return.

Every year he plants a garden, producing mainly peppers and tomatoes. Over the summer he had to have surgery, he was down and not able to work in the garden to make sure it was fruitful. I was there to help keep it up. But, keep in mind I am a designer and not gardener, so my skills were limited to watering (and I’m not sure I did that right!). I was impressed to see the people who came to the house to help with the nurturing of the garden! My father did not ask anyone to help with this, they just came.

While some of us may struggle to practice the “Pay it Forward” concept, paying it forward comes naturally to my father.

Dad, you have proven to be a true inspiration to any ones who knows you!

Renaldo Montenegro

Remote Engineered Wood Product Designer

Gould Design, Inc.