The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.

Julia Alvarez

The celebrated Dominican American writer Julia Alvarez has an uncanny ability to cut to the center of the human experience. Her poetry and prose often focus on her identity as a Dominican woman growing up in the United States. This quote, however, comes from Alvarez’s essay “Aha Moment,” in which she describes a terrifying plane ride, and the many moments of kindness she saw in that one small space. Reflecting on that experience, she found that kindness inspires more kindness, and we should pay it forward whenever we can.