Be grateful, help others

Be grateful. Help others. In other words: pass it on, pay it forward, give back.

These certainly sound like buzz phrases of the day. And they are. But they are also truisms we might ignore in the busyness of our everyday lives. Thankfully, if we keep our eyes open, we’ll likely witness them in action.

Any one of these phrases could be a motto for life. These are mottos I saw in full force during Family Weekend at the Volvo Car Open.

Bob Moran, tournament director, arranged for me to have a space at the stadium steps to offer my new book for sale.

Performing at the stadium steps were various artists - and these artists understood and lived the mottos. Kyle K’Otic, hip hop performer, bought a book from me.

Christopher Johnson, a speed painting artist, dropped tips into Kyle’s tip bucket, as did I.

These were small acts of support and greatly appreciated. That’s giving back. That’s paying it forward. That’s helping others.

I’ve witnessed this in other interactions as well. I recently bought some really cool t-shirts from a company called Ten Tree. For each item of clothing the company sells, they plant 10 trees somewhere else around the world. Their goal is to plant one billion trees by 2030. That’s giving back. That’s paying it forward. That’s helping others. Check the company out at

These mottos often play out during athletic competitions. While doing research for the Volvo Car Open, I discovered a 2012 video of Andrea Petkovic playing then top-ranked Victoria Azarenka. Petkovic took one of those tumbles, with her ankle bending grotesquely in a way that makes you shiver and turn from observing. Within an instant, everyone watching knew the match was over. While other opponents may have plopped into their chair to wait out the injury, Azarenka rushed to Petkovic, consoled her and even was ahead of the trainer, getting ice and applying it to her ankle. Small in the overall course of life, but giant in how it made Petkovic feel. That’s giving back. That’s paying it forward. That’s helping others.

Giving back does not have to be a grand gesture. Indeed, the examples I shared above confirm the following quote by author Sally Koch:

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”

How are you giving back? How are you paying it forward? How are you helping others?

Suzanne Detar’s book -- Don’t Lose the Ball in the Lights and Other Life Lessons from Sports -- is available for purchase at Island Expressions, 126 Seven Farms Dr., and online in print and as an ePub at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks. Learn more at

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


Breaking News Alerts

To sign up for breaking news email alerts, Click on the email address below and put "email alerts" in the subject line:

Comment Here