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Pay It Forward, Timing is Everything

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Pay It Forward, Timing is Everything


Pay It Forward, Timing is EverythingThis past week was an extremely busy one for me…deadlines everywhere!  And anyone who knows me, know that I am not the type to miss a deadline.  Rather, I am the type to "anticipate, prepare, and submit" long before crunch time; in most cases anyways. 


Well, last Tuesday was no exception.  I had tons of things to do with very little time to do them.  As I rushed around trying to check things off my to-do-list, I was distracted by a phone call from an old friend.  It was a friend I had not spoken to in months.  Why?  Because he still owes me money!  As the conversation progressed, he talked about what was going on in his life and the struggles he endured over the past several months.  Just listening to him, I quietly began to feel empathy towards him.  In addition to losing his job, he is also battling a severe health condition.  Out of respect for him, I have chosen not to mention his health issues here. 


As I continued listening to his story, my opinion of him slowly began to change.  As many of us have done in the past, we are often quick to judge others…especially when they owe us money.  This time however, something different occurred.  Instead of questioning his actions, I began to question my own.


As the conversation continued, my friend began to confess all the things he had told me in the past that were NOT true.  Without naming all the particulars, what it comes down to is he wanted me to perceive him in a certain way…so that is the person he portrayed himself to be.  By the time he was done with his confessions, I was speechless!  I did not know what to think or what to say…so I said nothing! 


Alexandria Real EstateWhen I finally pulled myself together, I thanked him!  I thanked him for his honesty and for the courage it took to make that call.  I must admit, I felt sorry for him…sorry for his troubles and sorry for the anxiety he must have felt before making that call to me .  In that moment, I told him not to worry about paying me back.  As my grandmother would say, "it's water under the bridge."  I also told him that if he needed anything…anything at all…I am there for him.  Relieved...he chuckled and said thank you…and the call ended.  It was really good to talk to him.

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Lisa Dunham, MBA
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Alexandria-Kingstowne
703.562.1800 (office)  |  703.298-6546 (direct)
Licensed in VA, MD
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Comments (4)

Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Lisa, that is a great reminder that we really don't know what is going on in peoples lives.  I love how you said "instead of questioning his actions you began to question yours." That's a great and scary place to be in sometimes ;-) -Kasey

Sep 11, 2011 04:12 PM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

I agree Kasey.  We often jump to conclusions, but in actuality, we never really know what troubles another person suffers.  

Sep 11, 2011 04:32 PM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

There are times where I am really busy and look down to see an old friend's name pop up on my caller ID. I have to admit, shamefully, that there have been many times where I've ignored the call just because I was too busy to "catch up." Your post is a reminder to me that we never know what might be happening and that we need to always try and make time for the ones in our lives that we love the most. You're a great person for putting the past behind you and moving foward. Hope you had a great weekend!

Sep 12, 2011 04:29 AM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Margie, I am sure we have all been guilty of the same ... I know I have. Nonetheless, I am really glad that I took a few minutes to take this call.  I feel relieved as well.

Sep 12, 2011 04:48 AM