Paying it forward with a chainsaw

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pay it forward chainsaw


Hi…my name is Ray…..and I am a self-confessed Facebook-aholic!

There...its the open…..ready for ridicule and the abundance of negativity around the subject! However I’m okay with this as my Facebook activities, spanning nearly 8 years has been predominantly intentional and with a purpose. Granted in the process I ‘like’, share and get involved in what may be seen as superfluous post banter, but in the main, Facebook, along with other social media genres, is a tool and a place of friendships for me.

Which brings me to the purpose of this blog! Saturday night, following an overnight storm, a tree in our garden cracked in two, one section crashing over our perimeter wall, the branches extended onto the road which enters our friendly neighbourhood. Being the ‘good neighbour’ that I am (I think I learnt about that on Facebook), I decided to get it sorted.

So where does any self-respecting neighbour here in our Valley go for help on a Sunday…….? To our local “Valley Trade and Swop” Facebook group of course!! It has to be one of my favourite Facebook groups where I’ve traded and at the same time, met some of the wisest, kindest, giving people I could hope to meet! My appeal was for anyone knowing where I could find a chainsaw. My diligent, observant son gave a great suggestion of a local company which would be open Monday.

However Cedric #notquiterightinthehead Sehas……yes that is his facebook name………and yes it did make me hesitate….when he said he had a chainsaw, offered his help! Strangely, somehow….even with a name like that and armed with a chainsaw…he sounded harmless!!!! A few minutes later Cedric (with a serene, friendly, amiable face) was at my door. He proceeded to chop away at the branches as we began finding out a little more about each other! We had much in common, both with military backgrounds, even though mine was in the air and his on and under the sea and we also had very similar values and belief systems.

It was an awesome encounter with a truly committed, genuine, generous dude! By the end of the conversation (and chopping up of branches) we had solved all the ills of society and had a working plan for our community, country and the World! But it was the final chapter of this encounter that struck me deeply.

I had a figure in mind to pay Cedric for his help, based on prices charged at local shops, but when I wanted to pay him, Cedric, with chainsaw in hand smilingly (no not like Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs)…..said, “Whatever you were thinking of giving me, use that to buy someone who needs it, a hot meal!!” After half an hour of chatting with this guy, his response should not have surprised me, but it really did move me. Being of altruistic nature myself (its not bragging, its how God made me I guess), I understood his sentiments and was truly blessed by them.

Yesterday I drove an hour away to a couple I heard about a few months ago and who I’d visited before on request of someone who cared. They are not married but in a committed relationship and she has 4 children. They live in a very small house and she is a hard-working, enthusiastic Mom on a low wage. He was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour and has been given a couple to a few months to live. I bought and sat eating traditional Cape hot Fish and Chips with them in their humble lounge with a small table and 2 seater couch. I was thrilled to leave them with some respite by using Cedric’s “Pay it forward money”, plus some of our own to bless them. The gratitude, hope and faith in their eyes was priceless.

Paying it forward with a Chainsaw!

Thanks and bless you Cedric.

Oh.…and did I mention..I love Facebook and the friends I have on it?

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