Paying it forward is surely the best example of gratitude

Almost six years ago, the late Garnet de la Hunt prodded me into serving on the board of Scouts South Africa. It was an offer impossible to refuse. The brick maker from Durbanville was a legend in SA scouting. The only one of my countrymen to ever head the 38-million strong global body.

Garnet was terminally ill when he sat me down with a cup of tea. Yet despite immobility and pain, he cheerfully continued to serve the movement he loved until the very last. That tends to happen when one is on purpose. And when you are, it also becomes easy to enlist others to do the right thing.

Our individual journeys are punctuated by watershed events. One of mine was getting to know Newcastle’s scoutmaster, who was to become a much needed mentor to a confused lad. Being able to pay it forward is one of the greatest joys in life. Surely there is no better example of true gratitude than giving back?