Paying it Back

Whether you are religious or not, there is a lot to be said for Karma.

You know, What goes around, comes around?

Whilst this is a belief in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Taoism,  you can hear it said by people of all beliefs (or none at all)

For Westerners who do not follow any of these religions, usually the word Karma is said whenever someone has vexed us and we state that Karma will come back and bite them.

karma, pay it back, random acts of kindness, talking newspaper, charity, volunteers, british sign language, wellingborough and district talking newspaper

Definition of Karma

But you can look at it from a different angle. The fact that whatever good we do in this life, sets us in good stead in the next life (if you believe in such things)

Now, I am one of those semi-sceptics. Whilst I don’t totally buy into certain religious statements, I do have a “belief”. And I genuinely believe there is more to it than just a “legendary story”

Saying that, I don’t particularly think that whatever we do in this life will look good in the next. For me, whatever good I do in this life, is beneficial and makes me and hopefully others feel good.

A couple of years ago I started learning British Sign Language. I had a customer who came into work that exclusively used sign language and I didn’t like not being able to communicate with him. This was done for no other reason than I would hate to be isolated and not be able to communicate with the community around me.

Several years later I am still in contact with him…. I take him out for breakfast every couple of weeks. We sign and eat and laugh and gossip. It is both amazing for me and a treat for him and I am so glad to do it. After all, he has no-one else…. And I benefit from being able to practice my sign language (and learn lots of new things from him)

When I first realised how unable to communicate he was, I likened this to being dropped in deepest darkest Africa, with not knowing a single word of the local language. Totally and utterly frightening and isolating.

I have always wanted to help people. From an early age I had to help my immediate family as due to a genetic deficiency, they were unable to do many things you and I take for granted.

It is just part of who I am and what I love to do. Working in a Customer Service role and helping people is the only job in the World for me and I like to think I do it well.

So, where am I going with this?

Recently I took part in a new activity and I absolutely loved it.

A good friend of mine, Snowy Ellson  had put a post on Facebook about how he was spending a couple of hours reading for the local talking newspaper. I literally had no idea what he was talking about.

karma, pay it back, random acts of kindness, talking newspaper, charity, volunteers, british sign language, wellingborough and district talking newspaper

The Superb Snowy Ellson

I contacted him and quizzed him a bit on what he meant. He told me all about a local charity, The Wellingborough and District Talking Newspaper, that has people read the local newspapers, which are recorded onto memory sticks and send out to Blind and Visually impaired subscribers.

What an amazing service!

I contacted the gentleman that helps organises it, and had a bit of a chat with him. He told me that they were always looking for extra volunteers, as sometimes the regular readers couldn’t make it, or were taken ill.

I happily put my name on the list and thought that would be as much as I heard. However within a couple of weeks, I had a message from him asking if I wanted to come and observe a taping, and possible (if I was up to it) do a reading too.

Well, if I was there watching, I might as well give it a good old try, and told him that I would do my best.

Meeting the other three readers on a dark cold Monday night, we were handed a sheaf of articles that needed reading. We picked out four each which were required for the taping.

The first two readers went into a booth and read their newspaper articles.

karma, pay it back, random acts of kindness, talking newspaper, charity, volunteers, british sign language, wellingborough and district talking newspaper

The Local Newspaper

My friend Snowy and I paired up and sorted through the articles we were going to read. When it was our time to read, we went into a booth where there were a couple of microphones and literally all we did was read two articles each, which were taped.

We swapped again, and the other pair read their last two articles each and once done vacated the booth.

Snowy and I went in to read our last two articles each and then we were done.

The readings are copied onto memory sticks which are sent to over 150 subscribers each week.

It was a fabulous process and totally fascinating.

The whole thing took just over an hour and then we were able to go home.

I absolutely loved taping the readings and I am genuinely hopeful that they will need to use me again. It is such a worthwhile exercise and so many people depend on getting their news and information from listening to the recording that are sent to them.

Prior to reading about this service, I had never done any voluntary work and didn’t realise there was such a need out there for volunteers in many fields

I would like to say that the best thing about it is that you meet a lot of amazing new people that you would probable never come into contact with, in normal circumstances.

However, for me the best thing about it is helping out people who rely on a charity like the Talking Newspaper.

An hour a week out of my time is nothing, yet the feeling I got from recording for them was just Priceless.

And surely this should win me some Brownie points on the Karma scale?

Who knows, but either way I absolutely loved it!

Leave a comment