It’s just a little yellow envelope, maybe 2″ x 3″ with a little red heart sticker to seal the deal. But, the message inside…
A Note Tucked Inside
When my little yellow envelope arrived in the mail, tucked inside was a note:
“A friend once gave me a yellow envelope with a gift inside and asked me to pay it forward. Now, you’re receiving one. Please do something kind with this envelope. Write a note to someone you love, tuck a sticker inside and give it to a child, mail a donation to an organization you support – whatever you want. The only rule is to use this envelope as a vehicle for kindness. Please accept this small gift and pay it forward.”
A Gift That Would Give Voice
I’ve known Kim for a number of years, pretty much from the onset of her path to redefining life as she knew it. Kim and her husband, Brian, sold it all, packed a couple of packs and set off to travel the world for 1 year, which turned in to 3 years – or was it 4? It was the journey of a lifetime. Just before they left their hometown of Portland, OR, a dear friend handed them a yellow envelope. It was a gift that would change the course of their lives, a gift that would lead Kim toward a path she had only dreamed of. In that yellow envelope was a gift to pay forward as they traveled the world and it was a gift that would give voice to Kim’s words and heart.
A Generation Apart
I have a great deal of admiration for Kim. Although we are a generation apart, we have formed a friendship over the years. We’ve continued to support and cheer each other onward, encouraging each other as we each walked our Camino journeys and now I get to watch her define her path as a mother, adventurer, writer… She’s a busy woman.
Just a Little Yellow Envelope
When I received my yellow envelope, in the mail, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do. But, I decided instead to just let that little yellow envelope sit on my desk for a few days while I gave it more thought. I decided I didn’t want to rush right out and give it away. I had to heed the words of the message tucked inside.
There it sat, for days, staring at me as if to say, “So what ARE you going to do with me?” And, then it hit me. I would keep it. That’s right. I’m keeping it. I’ve folded it in half and I’ve tucked it inside my little purple wallet.
Every time I open my wallet I will see my little yellow envelope and it will remind me – and inspire me – to pay it forward in some fashion. I will make more of an effort to hand a few dollars to the man we often see standing on the highway ramp, or make a donation to a charitable organization that stands up against intolerance, or buy a cup of coffee for someone just because I can, or even just smile at that cranky person and wish them a good day.
A few weeks ago, we drove through McDonald’s (don’t judge) for Egg McMuffins. As we drove up to the first window, we learned the man in the car in front of us had paid for our order. In turn, we paid for the woman in the car behind us. The power to pay it forward is within all of us and that’s Kim’s message. And, it’s my message to you.
The Yellow Envelope Project
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Read the story of the original yellow envelope and I dare you not to be inspired. And that’s what Kim is doing today; inspiring others and paying it forward. She has launched The Yellow Envelope Project and she’s asking each of us to do our part in spreading good and kindness at a time when so many are in such need of compassion.
If you would like your very own little yellow envelope to arrive in the mail, please contact Kim. Or, you can simply leave a comment below that you would like an envelope and I will privately pass along your name and email address to Kim.