How can we create more love and happiness? Not only for ourselves but for everyone and everything on this planet? Let me introduce you to the concept of paying it forward.
The first time I heard it was from a friend who recommended to watch the movie with the title: Pay It Forward. It is a wonderful though sad movie and I can also only recommend it. I won’t write about the film except the paying it forward part to not spoil anything.
Already on the cover of the movie is written: “When someone does you a big favor, don’t pay it back… pay it forward“. In the movie the teacher gives his students the task to come up with an idea to make the world a better place (at least that’s how I remember it :D) and this one boy comes up with the idea of paying it forward. It goes like this: if someone does you a big favor, you need to do three other people a big favor. His goal was that in a short period of time we can create a lot of happiness for other people.
I like this idea. I also tried to make it a part of the conference. When you have the means to study you’ll most likely are one of the winners of the lottery called life. I think then it is only just to think about how we can give back. You don’t need to donate all of your organs like in that movie with Will Smith though. I think it is not about self-sacrifice but using the talents and means we have to help others who have not. Even if you just pay it forward to one other person. It will mean that three people are happy. The person who did you a favor (because we feel better when we can do something good for someone else), you feel better because you were helped and you can help someone else, and the person you will do a favor will also be happy and grateful.
I also think it doesn’t need to be something big. If you see an elderly person struggling with carrying her bags, ask him/her if you can help. If you buy a coffee in your favorite café, pay for another one so that someone who doesn’t have the means can also enjoy a cup of coffee and is able to socialize. If you see a garbage man, tell him how grateful you are that he and his colleagues keep the streets clean. It is those small gestures of kindness that will instill in all of us a feeling of belonging and gratitude.
What can you do to pay it forward?