Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Question of the Day #954

Above Hollywood, trails carve up the hills in a park called Runyon Canyon. When we lived at Mansfield, a lot of the roommates would hike up there.

Jeannie began hiking it years ago. She found a path less traveled. One that where you start, you can't see the top. And every time you summit, you think it's the end, but then you see there's another peak.

She began to see that trail as a metaphor for life. And as she walked it every day, she'd use that time to pray. And whatever she was wrestling with that day, when she got to the top, always felt a little brighter.

So she made what she called a Prayer Box and put it at the top of the hills. She left paper and pens there with instructions to take a prayer and leave a prayer. So that people could express a need and then pray it forward by thinking good thoughts for someone else.

Unfortunately, that first prayer box was destroyed. So she made another, stronger box. That too was destroyed. The third realized a similar fate. Then over Memorial Day weekend, she and some friends hauled concrete and other heavy materials up the steep hills and installed prayer box 4.0.

Yesterday, M, R and I hiked up to see it. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, so I was amazed that people carried such heavy tools up those hills. All that dedication towards creating good energy was inspiring.

It's not hard. I pulled a prayer out and I added it to my prayers last night and this morning. Just like that, I'm sending a stranger positive energy.

If everybody who hikes up that trail participates, imagine all the good energy bouncing around as a result.

What creative methods of "paying it forward" have you encountered?



  1. I love that story! So much so that I don't think of how to answer your question right now.

  2. I love this! Man, I love when people put their ideas into action. Jeannie is amazing!

    I recently was driving with a friend in a cool little Jeep and asked her about it since last I heard she was carless. She said her friend's family knew she was without a car and lent her indefinitely their unused family vehicle. When she commented how she could ever repay them, they said, "Once you get on your feet and start making your way, you'll pay it forward." People are awesome.

  3. Amazing story of determination from your friend.

  4. Carpooling. In the past I relied on my friends for many different ride "emergencies" and now that I'm not working, I will give any of my daughters' friends rides anywhere. The moms are so thankful, but my feeling is that someone did it for me when I needed help and if we all did it so graciously when we were able then how much less stressful the working parent world could be.

  5. Wonderful story! It's sad, though, that people destroyed the first boxes. What's up with that?

    Only a few years into our marriage, hubby knew a young who had a wife and three kids and a falling-apart piece of junk car. Dangerous. It was the only car they had. Hubby had an Olds we were thinking of selling but we decided to give it the young man. I'll never forget. We sat in the grocery story where he worked in their little deli/lunch area and handed him the paper work for the car. He was so flabbergasted, thankful. We were glad we could do it. It was a beautiful day.

    And for me, working all those years with abused kids was paying it forward. Particularly when I run into some of them all grown up now and doing well.

  6. This is amazing. I'm honored, absolutely honored to be featured.

    Another way I love paying it forward is with random strangers I meet, whether in line at Starbucks, or at somebody's party, I love seeing how quickly I can get to know a person's special qualities and encouraging them before we part. What do they love most about their life right now? Who helped them get to where they are? What would they want most to achieve? Talking to someone helps me feel like I'm watering their seed to grow.


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