This year's universal goal to inspire millions of acts of kindness around the world somehow found its way into a Kihei middle school. Who could imagine the difference that would make in daily lives on our island and across the state?
People from 65 countries, including the U.S., participated in Pay It Forward Day on April 24. On Maui, Peggy Temple, a Lokelani Intermediate School teacher, curriculum coordinator and director of Rachel's Challenge (see "Lokelani Intermediate School Pays It Forward" on front page), worked diligently since November 2013 to add the state of Hawai'i and Maui to the list of participants.
Boy Scout Troop 22 and Friends of Rachel Club member Arnubi Gomes from Lokelani Intermediate School said, "It's really cool to know that doing a nice thing for someone else has this ripple effect that keeps growing and growing."
"When you do a nice thing for a person it inspires them to pay it forward too," said Gomes. "Then, there is this whole chain of reaction thing of people helping and changing lives. It's fun trying to think of new ways to pay it forward."
The fact is there are numerous benefits attached to paying random acts of kindness forward and helping someone in need. Specifically: Doing good for others can have a positive effect on the immune system. By contributing to the greater good, self worth and self-esteem improves. It can also prevent people from becoming isolated, encouraging them to meet new people and step outside their comfort zones. In addition, chronic negativity can be dismantled in the mind as positive energy flows from giving to others. Many studies have revealed that kindness actually helps relieve stress.
With this in mind, the Maui Weekly applauds Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Alan Arakawa for their recent proclamations to include our state and Maui County in the continuous concept of selfless giving; the true aloha spirit!
"Just try it out and you, too, can make a difference!" the mayor and Gomes agreed.
The mayor's proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS, the Pay It Forward novel, written by Catherine Ryan Hyde in 2000, has inspired the creation of a movie, a non-profit foundation and a global movement to promote community spirit through intentional acts of kindness; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, Blake Beattie believed in the power of giving and founded Pay it Forward Day in Australia which was the start of a positive ripple effect throughout the world, Pay it Forward Day is now supported by people in more than 65 countries on six continents; and
WHEREAS, Pay it Forward Day is all about people doing a good deed for someone else, making a positive difference in the world; and
WHEREAS, the Lokelani Intermediate School club, the Friends of Rachel, has brought Pay it Forward Day to Maui and will be performing acts of kindness throughout our community, these acts of kindness truly embody the spirit of aloha; by giving without expecting anything in return;
NOW, THEREFORE, I ALAN M. ARAKAWA, Mayor of the County of Maui, have the distinct honor of proclaiming April 24, 2014 as
PAY IT FORWARD DAY
throughout Maui County and urge all citizens to observe this day with activities and acts of kindness that demonstrate and celebrate selfless giving.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the County of Maui to be affixed hereto.
DONE at Wailuku, Maui, Hawai'i on this 21st day of April, 2014.
ALAN M. ARAKAWA
Mayor, County of Maui