Pay It Forward

Picture Courtesy of Woolford London (Guyana 2018)

Picture Courtesy of Woolford London (Guyana 2018)

Recently the term “Pay it Forward” is being used a lot in the workplace or coming up in conversations with people when discussing voluntary work. For example, when I say to people, “I am giving back to my community”, consciously or not some people feel obliged to rephrase my statement by saying “Pay it Forward.”

 Others have asked me what does "Pay It Forward" means?

It is the new language of choice for saying, “I am giving back to my community.”

So, what does this notion or idiom of “Pay it Forward” mean?  In essence, if someone does a good deed for you, in turn, you will give back to someone else without expecting anything in return.  Pay It Forward can be done anywhere but it must be done with the right mindset.
 It must be altruistic, in honesty, with integrity and for the best intentions.

This concept started in 1851, when it was first referenced in a book by Robert A. Heinlein, “Between Planets” but became popular in the movie “Pay it Forward” in 2000, when Haley Joel Osment plays a young boy who develops the concept of “pay it forward” for his class assignment and started a chain of good deeds.

In essence “Pay It Forward” are selfless acts of good deeds you do because someone did it for you or simply because you believe it is the right thing to do.

Who Can “Pay It Forward”?

     Anyone can Pay It Forward.
     Organizations can collectively give support or funding to a community group.
     Individuals can donate money but it can also be done anonymously.
     Schools are great at Pay It Forward
     Churches are often recipients but can also give.

What if I don’t have anything to give?

We all have something to give:

     Just giving your time, 
     Sharing your knowledge, and expertise.
     Giving someone guidance. 
     Helping someone shape their business ideas.
     Mentoring a new member of staff.
     Finding a young person to support.
     Being a good citizen without expectations.
     Giving up your seat for someone.
     Letting the person go in front of you in the line.
     Doing something in your community.
     Do something for free.

Paying It Forward are simply acts of good deeds as a human being and citizen of the world.

I believe that every day I am the recipient of genuine, random or even conscious acts of kindness.

This can be in the form of a note from my family at home and abroad, friend or a former colleague.

Someone taking the time out of their busy schedule to send me a message – often from around the world.

Thanks to social media, people who may view my various platforms will send me comments, likes, congratulations and on occasions an invitation to speak or work inquiries. 

Try “Pay It Forward” or give back to your community.