Somewhere in the English Midlands is a county called Warwickshire, home of the Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary. One day, Geoff, the manager, had a visit from the police.

They had found an abandoned, malnourished, and clearly abused dog. Her owner had locked her in a garden shed and abandoned her for several days.

She was in terrible shape, and it was feared she wouldn’t survive. Geoff and his team tended to her, gave her lots of love, care, food, and a warm place to sleep, and soon, the brave little dog was back on her feet, good as new. They named her Jasmine.

Soon, it was time for Geoff and his team to find Jasmine a new home, but she had other ideas.

No-one remembers now how it began, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn’t matter if it was a puppy, a fox, a rabbit or a rhinoceros, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, wherever possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents. “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed them by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put them on the settee. Then she sat down with them, cuddling them.”

Geoff explains further in the article that Jasmine is like that with all animals – foxes, badgers, guinea pigs, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to settle into their new surroundings and forget about the abuse and neglect that brought them there. “She even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose!”

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted dog, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother. The list of orphaned and abandoned young creatures she has cared for includes five foxes, four badgers, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

After reading this article, I was naturally amazed by this creature’s ability to care for others in such a beautiful way, and I wondered how Jasmine was able to overcome her natural biological instinct to eat all these smaller animals, and rather care for them so tenderly. I just couldn’t understand how a dog could feel such gratitude to those who cared for her, and then feel the need to replicate that kindness towards others.

This amazing story put one simple question in my mind: What is our excuse?

At one time or the other, we have all found ourselves hopeless and abandoned in a moment of need, and someone has gone out of their way to show us kindness. Often, we have thanked them with words like, “I don’t know how I could ever repay you”. Well, here’s how.

Today, I want to encourage us all to show our gratitude for those who have rescued us with kindness bypassing that kindness forward to others in need. Each act of kindness will be your way of paying the bill for the blessings you have received from others.

Today is the perfect day to start this. Start this morning, and do it always. There are opportunities for showing kindness all around us, but if you’re not sure where to start, how about tweeting the name of the person who rescued you with kindness using the #JoySMS, and I will read them out and say a big Thank You to them on your behalf.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and I have been blessed by many. I cannot pay it back, but I can certainly pay it forward.

GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!