Christmas season 2019 did not go as I had planned. I covered my shopping list, made gift purchases, and developed plans for spending time with family and friends. However, just days before the Christmas holiday (while singing with my church no doubt), I noticed that I was struggling with my breathing. My breath was so shallow, then I suddenly and without warning had no breath to finish the song I was singing.
That day in church was the beginning of my 6-week recovery from pneumonia. But instead of reflecting on my temporary illness, I fondly remember the unexpected kindness I received from my family and friends during my time of recovery. I realized how important it is to stay connected to family, friends, and associates because a lot of life catches us off guard. The lesson I observed is if you pay it forward (and back to the person), your day will come.
Embrace the Help
If you’ve helped enough people get what they want or need (loose paraphrase from Zig Ziglar), you can expect something positive in return. Don’t be too proud to accept help especially when you know you need help and cannot do things for yourself. Moreover, there’s no shame in letting others know you need help. By allowing yourself to be on the receiving end of support, you give others an excellent feeling of giving when they can come to your rescue. Accept the help and be sure to return the favor later.
You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
When you receive unexpected help or support, make a point to send a thank you card, note, or email letting others know that you are thankful for their kindness. Kindness is in shrinking supply in our current culture. Something as small as a heartfelt hug or note can go a long way.
Please pay it forward… Again
Voice actors are not exempt from paying it forward. As a matter of fact, the most successful voice actors are usually very good at giving back. The act of giving back can include rendering excellent services to clients along with helping and volunteering at community and non-profit causes.
If you’re ever down for a time, once you’ve recovered or gotten back on your feet, start to fill other lives with help, encouragement, and acts of genuine kindness.
Voice over’s pay it Forward
Make time to volunteer and give to others regardless of their ability to give back to you. Also, it’s not too late to send a Valentine’s Day card to clients as a way of expressing kindness. Life is full of reciprocal opportunities personally and professionally. A blog by the Talented Ladies Club gives some nice thoughts:
We’re often presented with opportunities to do favors for others in life – from
passing on outgrown baby clothes and toys to friends and family (or donating
them to charities), to brilliant schemes like Share the warmth, where you
‘pre-purchase’ a cup of coffee or tea in a cafe, and leave as a credit for someone
in need to use another time.
I challenge you in the last half of Valentine’s week to look for ways to give to others. That way (hopefully) when your day comes (and it will) your family and friends will rally around you. As you face life’s challenges, may your recovery include help and support from others so you can get back to doing and being your best.
Break a lip!