Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pay It Forward

Fifteen years ago, a movie came out that held an idea that would promote a better world. In "Pay It Forward" a wise teacher assigned the members of his class to do three nice things for other people, and to have those people pay back their good deeds by doing three nice things for others. The idea was to build a chain of events where everyone was doing good in the world.  One student took the assignment very seriously, and through the movie we see how even the simplest good deed can grow into something major.

This idea is still around, and January 16th to 18th is Pay It Forward weekend.  I found the event on Facebook and signed up immediately. The idea is to do least one random act of kindness.  Do something for someone or some organization without expecting anything in return. You can get in on this too by sending someone a card, volunteering  some time, pay for some stranger's meal, or anything else that you can think of. This weekend does not have to be the only time to do something for someone. This organized event is just a time where we can all do it together.

I'm sure you have heard stories over the past couple of years of people discovering their coffee has been paid for at Tim Horton's, or someplace.  That kind of thing happens throughout the year in recent times, and certainly does seem to spread once it starts.

Facebook has another way to kick start the Pay It Forward initiative too. There is now an e-mail chain as well.  One of my cousins posted an e-mail saying she would send something to the first 5 people who agreed to follow her lead.  They just had to type "I'm in" in the comments.  I jumped on it.  I'll get something from her, and send out 5 things to other people. And now those 5 people will also be sending something to 5 more people. I don't know how many links in the chain there were before I saw my cousin's message, but you can see how easily and quickly all this kindness spreads.

I took part in this kind of chain a couple of years back, but it wasn't considered to be a Pay It Forward project at the time. It was all about spreading your talents by giving away personally made items then.  This time it may be easier, as I don't actually have to make something if I don't want to.  I will, however, take some time to try and figure out what each of my recipients might like. That can sometimes be a challenge if you don't personally know the one on the receiving end......which in several of these cases I don't. 

I guess I'm already in Pay It Forward mode, as I just offered my brand new Sima Ultimate International Travel Adapter to someone who is going on a trip soon.  Once the idea is in your head to find ways to help others, all kinds of opportunities pop up.  Find someone to do something nice for today, and just keep doing it.

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