Pay It Forward

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The Gift From France

The Gift From France

Do you believe in random acts of kindness?

Last October, Barbara from Home in France introduced me to the “Pay It Forward” game.

According to the rules, “the exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward in their own way.” I was one of the commenter who agreed to receive a small gift (you bet I was!) and to pass it on to other bloggers.

True to her word, Barbara sent me a small gift that I received this week end: two nice bookmarks. She must have guessed I love reading!

And Barbara picked the perfect gift! One of the bookmark has a quote of Bob Dylan (whom I love!): “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” — perfect for travelers like us! The other one has pictures of the famous Petit beurre LU. I was born and raised in Nantes, France, and the symbol if the city is constant rain the Petit beurre LU, because that’s where was based the The Lefèvre-Utile biscuit factory (see a picture of the factory tower I took when I was in France in March).

So merci beaucoup Barbara!

Now, I’d like to send you guys something. According to the rules, “I am going to agree to send something fun, inspiring or uplifting” to three random commenters. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the lucky ones. In turn, those three will post this information and pick 3 people they want to send something to and so on.

This is the third time I receive something from fellow bloggers: I got a troll from Norway, from RennyBA, and more recently, Shionge sent me a surprise package from Singapore. We are all used to email and virtual networking, but I’m telling you, receiving a surprise by regular mail is a great thing to experience.

So… comment, be nice, and I’ll be your Santa Claus!

The random pick

I used a random number generator to pick three commenters to participate:

Send me your address, girls, and wait for Santa Claus!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I believe in random acts of kindness, which i’ve been subjected to in my internet years since the early 90’s. I used to have a PO box so i felt more comfortable giving out my “address”, and one man from sweden send me some swedish chocolate out of the blue! He used to hear me talk about how american chocolate is not the same as german all the time when I hosted a forum on compuserve and decided to send me some. Guess he wanted to prove swedish chocolate was far superior to german. 🙂

    Then another internet friend found me on amazon and sent me a non-refundable gift that i tried very hard to return. I have a hard time accepting things from people and this was way too much, he bought me a dvd player. I was an avid movie buff and wanna be movie critic at the time. And this was back in the days when they were expensive. Amazon as I found out won’t take back gift items, it was way too much tho. Then a couple of years ago after my car was broken into an internet friend offered to buy me a new stereo, i had to decline. I know it’s probably very rude to not accept gifts but is it wrong?

    I guess i’ve just always felt that I have to pay someone back for what they give me in equal terms. But it has shown me in my life there are people who do good things and expect nothing in return other than the satisfaction they have made someones day. The gesture to me is more rewarding than the gift could ever be. 🙂

  2. This is a great concept. I have written about random acts of kindness before, and I have read stories that brought warmth to my heart.

    Looking forward to see how it continues…. oh, and by the way, thank you for your visit and comments.

  3. Haha Zhu, I just followed your comment on my Rudyard Kipling post and read your “about the author” and the funny thing is, I’m a civil servant taking Group French Classes. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up in one of your classes 🙂

  4. Salut Zhu,
    Hey ! There they are !! I’m so glad that you loved the book marks. Yes, I feel that you are a book person ( you do teach !), and these two were PARFAIT !! I swear; that Petit beurre bookmark was a natural. And Dylan was screaming out “take me ! take me !”.
    Which is what I did 😉
    I just went with me gut feeling on this gift.
    Yes, now you will play Santa ! I ‘m sure that you will make some friends happy.

    Grosses bises, chère amie. xxx

  5. It’s been nice catching up on your blog.

    Giving more than you have, and expecting nothing, but nothing in return means selflessness. I hope you enjoy continuing to give, share, inspire, and love.:)

  6. I love that idea! I miss the days of sending and receiving things by regular mail. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a big snail mail revolution and we all started writing regular letters and sending cards and gifts again? 🙂 I’d love to be a part of your Pay it Forward!

  7. Now that you mention it, regular mail does thrill, especially since we hardly use it for anything personal now-a-days. I still treasure many handwritten cards that would come my way earlier; it’s mostly multimedia email cards now – even though its more green, its not as much fun. 🙂

  8. I think I not only read and write good comments here but I also moved very close to Santa………….See how much I care for you Santa! 😉

    So when can I expect my gift? I’m ok accepting early Err way early Christmas gifts…………Don’t even mind accepting it on Thanks Giving…….Ha ha ha!

  9. Oh yes, I love receiving letters or postcards from friends who’re at some faraway lands. It’s an experience and excitement like no other.

    Shoot me your address, I’ll be glad to do you a favour. 😉

  10. there are not enough acts of kindness in the world. if everyone did one tomorrow, we’d have 3 billion… or does the world now have 4 billion people? we’d have 3 billion acts of kindness.
    i love those lu cookies too. the petite schoolboy or le petite escolier (butter biscuits topped with pure milk chocolate) are my favorite.
    but they say rungis, france on the box.

  11. @Scarlet – I’ll do the draw in Tuesday or Wednesday, so… cross your fingers! 😉

    @Muse – Wow! You were lucky, but I can imagine it was a bit embarrassing at the same time. Please, don’t expect a DVD player from me! 😉

    @Sidney – I thought it would be fun!

    @Gabriel – You’re welcome! It’s fun to follow immigrants lives across Canada.

    @noha – Ooops, sorry, I hope you’re not one of my victims! 😆 French is the main activity in Ottawa it seems. That, or meetings.

    @Tulsa Gentleman – But I like the idea of surprises and I usually don’t get disappointed.

    @barbara – It was just perfect Barbara – as I said, even the French post played it fair!

    @Breigh (Canadutch) – I’ll do the draw on Tuesday or Wednesday, so cross your fingers as well!

    @Monique – Please, go ahead! The more the merrier…!

    @Bluefish – Yes, it’s actually pretty similar. I remember reading about it on your blog.

    @Celine – I received so much the last couple of years thanks to this blog, it’s only fair to give back.

    @Brenda – Cross your fingers, I’m coming soon! I do miss snail mail sometimes. I used to write a lot, but now it’s only bills…

    @Shantanu – I’m trying my best to still use it with my family, we do send each other little packages one in a while. I miss the thrill of opening a letter…

    @zunnur – You’re welcome! You are an interesting blogger to follow.

    @Annie – True, true my child, you deserve something. A plane ticket to NY maybe? Oh sorry, I see you got that already! 😆

    @kyh – I’ll get back to you soon then! See, I even updated my blogroll 😉 Sorry it took so long… told ya I was going to forget, at least, I’m predictable! 😆

    @Seraphine – Rungis is the biggest wholesale market in France, they may have been packaged there. The LU factory closed a few years ago in Nantes actually… the factory was turned into a modern art museum and café. Love the petits écoliers too! 🙂

  12. I’m pretty rubbish at getting around to sending things off so will mis out on this one, but the idea is great and I have loved it in the past when I’ve received gifts from others bloggers, usually mix CDS.

  13. In short, here you describe the power of networking, including blogging: It a Givers Gain!

    I’m sure the Norwegian Troll is doing very well in your house, and I can tell you the Maple Fudge tasted delicious 🙂

  14. Hi Zhu,

    It has been a long time since I’ve visited your blog (or any other blog for that matter). And this was a very nice post to be greeted with. I grew up in a very small town where people did nice things for each other all the time. I now live in a large city and find myself surprised if someone is polite to me. I’m all for playing more games such as this. Have fun with it.

  15. @Khengsiong – Really? I have never met anyone here, so I guess I’m good for now! What was your experience?

    @Adem – I totally understand, I can be terrible at getting things done. But for once I have time and I liked the idea.

    @Bluefish – We lost… 🙁 The snow is gone for now. Supposed to snow this week but I’m not sure… it’s just getting cold, no big deal. You can email me when you come 😉

    @RennyBA – You’re right! It’s fun to connect, especially across the world like we did. You inspired me!

    @Angela May – I have always wondered what could life in a small town look like. Are people really nice and helpful? Do everybody know everybody? I find people in big cities surprisingly nice too, that said.

  16. Ah, this was a nice post. Seeing and hearing people being nice to each other is always warming, somehow. However, as with Angela May, I grew up in a pretty small town too, but somehow I was unfortunate enough to have a racist neighbour who was the sole reason for an extremely nice albanian family leaving the town altogether.

    That said; big cities do also have nice people, it is just a little bit more difficult to see them, I guess 🙂

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