Dale and Kerry Muller on Christmas morning.
Dale and Kerry Muller on Christmas morning. Samantha Wantling

OPINION: Paying it forward starts with you

AT the heart of every good community are even greater community members who undertake extraordinary acts of complete and sometimes random kindness.

These people are the lifeblood of any community and are often the reason that the squeaky wheels are kept oiled and moving.

Here on the Granite Belt we are blessed to have these people in abundance.

You will find them at our schools, hospitals, nursing homes, our information centres, participating in our various sporting and community organisations and we ensure they grace the pages of the Border Post on a regular basis.

Most of the time, they receive nothing more than thanks and a pat on the back but they are richer in the knowledge that they do make a difference.

On the first day of my recent holiday, I sat down to watch an old but, in my mind, classic movie, Pay It Forward.

Simple concept but one we probably don't put into practise too often and one which should be the epitome of a selfless community.

The movie played on my mind for days, the thought that a random act of kindness could make such a difference in someone's life.

After a few days, I completely forgot about the movie and the brief impact it had on my thought process, until after church on Christmas morning I noticed a sign outside the Ballandean General Store - free breakfast.

The cynic in me thought the owners of this establishment had gone completely mad, or maybe it was a gimmick. Nevertheless, while I didn't need breakfast, I did need fuel, so I stopped.

Imagine my surprise when I realised the store wasn't even open, yet the owners, the Muller family, decided to put on a free breakfast for their community and for those who were having to travel the highway on Christmas morning.

Now when I say breakfast, I mean breakfast with all the trimmings - bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, tea, coffee and everything in between.

They had set up a marquee with tables and chairs and the entire Muller family was there with welcoming smiles and Christmas cheer.

And why, you might ask, would someone get up on Christmas morning to do something for complete strangers when they could be at home enjoying their own family time?

That is something only the Muller family can answer but I like to think there should never be a reason not to help people.

That sometimes starting your day with a grateful heart can be a contagious attitude that we should all want to catch.

Maybe I am still in Christmas/new year mode and maybe the dream of a society that really does care about changing the world is not completely impossible but every day that goes by without helping another is an opportunity missed.

Pay it forward - it starts with you.

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