Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.

           

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Share This Journal: a Pay It Forward project

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Amy Gopel and Keryl Pesce

Amy Gopel and Keryl Pesce

A few days ago I got an email from a reader named Amy Gopel, who wanted me to see how she was personalizing the PayIt Forward idea and helping to take it one step further. Here's what she said:

Hello - I love so much what you are doing. So many believe changing the world is dependent upon political leaders in position of "power." I believe changing the world is in each of our hands through the power of one act of kindness at a time. I know what you stand for and honor and respect your ability to recognize that life is about setting boundaries but still allowing others to reach out to you on your terms! I don't want to take too much of your time, I am not asking you for anything other than to know that you are responsible for a book that I co-created with my friend Keryl Pesce. It is called "Share This Journal" and it is a book designed to encourage and document random acts of kindness. How it works is the owner of the journal records his or her name and contact information inside, performs an act of kindness for someone, records the act inside and gives the recipient of kindness the book. That person then records his or her reaction, performs an act of kindness for someone else, records it and gives the journal to that person. There are 26 opportunities for acts of kindness with the final act being to contact you as the journal owner and return the completed journal to you. You then a re able to see the ripple effect of your one kind act and the impact it had. The idea was born when I , following the death of my father in law, wanted to show our 9 year old daughter the power of a chosen response to adversity. I gathered our daughter and her friends, disassembled the flowers from the funeral, reassembled them into small bouquets and took the girls out in the community to gift them away as random acts of kindness. We came upon a woman who was brought to tears as her son had recently passed and she had asked for a sign he was OK. The next thing she knew, a young girl was handing her flowers. It was such a powerful moment that I wanted a way to recapture this type of experience for others.  I just wanted to let you know that the book is third best thing I've ever done (the others are my daughter and husband).  I would not have come up with this concept  had you not come up with yours!  I believe we are all connected and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude resting in the belief that somehow we were connected. We love what you are doing and wish you much success in spreading kindness around the globe.  All "your children" are beautiful, not just Pay it Forward. Thank you again, Amy Gopel

I looked up Share This Journal on Amazon, and I think it's a terrific idea, so I want to share it with my readers. I may end up buying a few of these to give as gifts. If any of you, my readers, choose to try this journal, I'd love to hear about your experiences!