The Happy Starfish

Living Mindfully & Celebrating Health, Happiness & Peaceful Living

An epic pay it forward

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I read a news story today that filled me with such a warm fuzzy feeling I wanted to share it with those of you who may not have heard it.

Tony Tolbert, a 51 year old Lawyer in Los Angeles, moved back home with his mum so he could offer his furnished home, rent free for a year, to a homeless family he had never met before. Tony visited a shelter and met Felicia Dukes the lucky recipient of this generous offer. Felicia lived at the shelter with three of her children but the eldest was deemed too old to stay with them.

Growing up Tony’s father, Jimmy, always helped people where he could, often offering a spare bed to those who needed it.

“You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah,” Tony said. “We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

On hearing the news Felicia recalls “They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year, and I’m like, what? Like — Are you serious? My heart just fills up and stuff, um….I’m just really happy”.

Tony Tolbert talked to the media about the life lessons he learned from his father, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love,” he said. “And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world”.

How completely awesome is that?

Before you dismiss it as a lovely story but not something you could ever do, take a second to think about it. If you have food to eat and somewhere to sleep you probably have all that you actually need, anything else is a bonus.

Embracing the concept of gratitude fully, and practicing it every day, enables you to open heartedly start sharing the love. Many of us pay it forward everyday without consciously realising it. Imagine what could happen if we consciously tried to do something on a regular basis too? Although it may seem impossible to carry out an act on the scale of Tony Tolbert’s don’t underestimate anything you can do. What would seemingly seem a small thing to you can make a huge difference to someone’s life.

Regardless of your personal or financial situation love and a smile are two things you can share at the very least.

Be kind.

Louise xx

If you pay it forward in some way or hear of any similar stories please post on our py it forward thread or our our Facebook page


Author: thehappystarfish - living mindfully

Louise Jensen is an award winning Naturopathic Kinesiologist, Mindfulness Meditation Coach and Nutritional Therapist, and is certified in many other therapies, including the Mind Detox Method (as featured on Discovery Health) where she graduated from the Mind Detox Academy in record time. Louise has overcome living with a disability and has 13 years experience helping others to heal, and shares her experiences through freelance writing. In 2012, Louise co-created The Happy Starfish, dedicated to celebrating health, happiness and peaceful living. Louise offers Mindfulness Coaching via workshops and Skype and specialises in anxiety, depression and chronic pain.

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