Gratitude is a funny thing.
There are countless people in my life who have helped me, both directly and indirectly, in ways that I’ll never be able to repay.
I’m probably not alone in wanting to reciprocate the generosity of others.  It is hard to just accept help, a gift, or a favor, without immediately feeling indebted to that person.
The reality is, though, that no one is keeping score.  People don’t do favors for us because they want a favor back. 
People help other people because that is how we’re wired; it’s how our ancestors survived.
When it comes to feeling gratitude for what others have done for us, there is no paying it back- the only way to even the score is to pay it forward.
Help out the next person the way the last person helped you.  The more we help those around us, the greater the impact we have on our families and communities.
The catch is, though, that in order to help those around us, we must first be capable ourselves.  I can’t buy someone dinner if I’m broke.
In order to best serve those around us, we need to be our best selves- physically strong, mentally stable, emotionally sound, and financially fit.
When we allow our bodies to deteriorate, or allow bitterness and cynicism to enter our hearts, we’re not just dragging ourselves down.  We’re letting down those around us who need our help.
So, if you are grateful for those that have helped you- look to pay it forward, to serve others.  And in order to serve, make sure that you’re the best possible version of yourself.