Pay It Forward


This basic idea is old.  It has been used in several books and movies over the last hundred years, but the philosophy is sound.  The idea is to try to perform three kind acts per day.  The three recipients of these kind acts must then strive to also perform at least three kind acts for three other people, therefore paying the debt forward to a third party.

If everyone took part in this simple practice, the world would be a better place.  While this wouldn’t stop poverty, hunger, and wars overnight; it would help to make everyone’s day-to-day quality of living a little bit better.  The long term affects of this practice could prove to be truly world changing.  If kindness could become a cornerstone of society’s values around the world, maybe one day humanities problems could be solved through efficient coordination.

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5 thoughts on “Pay It Forward

  1. I have always loved the idea of paying it forward. It truly has the power to make the day-to-day much more enjoyable. However for it to change something any bigger than that would take many years and special circumstances. I guess its still worth a try.

  2. Kindness is so important. Everyone has experienced the pride they feel after committing a kind act or helping someone out. I think being kind would be a great way to change the world. I agree with Sarah though – we are told often throughout our lives to be kind etc but will be ever really become this altruistic? I know in my elementary/intermediate/and middle school awards were given out for random acts of kindness, but if you have the potential of getting an award is it really a random act? Or is it for the ribbon and your name being announced over the loud speaker?

  3. Pay it forward is one of my favorite movies, I think it teaches an important lesson that doing small acts of kindness can spread. If you think about, three random acts that help other people really is not a lot, but it can spread and those three acts can turn into so much more.

  4. I like that you chose this for your proposal- it’s so doable! Like you said, in theory this is a great notion, but it’s definitely important to define a “kind” act. Is a kind act opening the door for the person behind you, or is it volunteering at a soup kitchen once a week? Definitely something worth thinking about.

  5. I love the movie “Pay It Forward” and I have always really liked the idea that it suggests. I agree with Sarah that it would take a long time for the effects of something like this to manifest themselves. And, like Valerie, I think that there is definitely a wide spectrum of “kind” acts that we could consider.

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