Have you ever wondered what is it that connects one human being to another? Are we just connected through the blood that flows through our veins or is it something greater than that?
Mother earth makes no distinction between her children and provides for everyone, she is kind and generous. We can be kind and generous as well.
Each person is connected to another in some way. This is a chain that stretches far and beyond human-defined boundaries. Imagine the entire humanity connected with chain links and each doing his best to strengthen the bond.
Kindness is the adhesive that keeps the chain strong, not just for us but for generations to come.
“To pay forward” is the answer to many troubles being faced by people. At the end of the day, we are responsible for each other, why live a selfish existence, just for yourself? Each one of us can make this world a better place by paying it forward.
What exactly does “pay it forward” mean?
Paying it forward is what this world needs today, more than ever. It is a beautiful expression of kindness and gratitude. An act of kindness goes a long way in changing somebody’s life. By paying forward you can make an important difference in this world.
What is the concept of paying it forward? What does it mean to pay something forward? The idea behind it is, if you are helped or you benefit from somebody else’s kindness to you, you need to share that beautiful feeling with others. Now how do you do that?
You need not repay your benefactor directly, but you can start a chain reaction of kindness wherein you pass it on to others. You return the kindness by doing a kind and good act to someone else.
They, in turn, spread kindness and gratitude to others making a wonderful chain reaction. Each does a good act and passes it on for others to follow suit.
We all will become participants of this great chain of help, kindness, and generosity. The beauty lies in the fact that you do random acts of kindness not necessarily to people you know but to total strangers as well.
You surprise an unsuspecting stranger with something he least expects, and the happiness is then passed on to others. A selfless act of kindness will encourage people to do the same.
“It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.” Jackie Hutcheson.
To pay it forward is to make a difference in somebody’s life. It is a wonderful act of selflessness which comes back to you many folds, an expense we can all afford with ease.
The idea behind paying it forward is to encourage people to perform random acts of kindness with expectations and without being selfish.
One can pay forward when one puts his own self aside and selflessly shows kindness and generosity to others for their happiness.
As you start doing good deeds to strangers, you might come across people who are grateful and would like to return the good you did to them.
This is the time to make a choice. Do you accept their generous offer for yourself or do you show them the path to pay forward?
By letting them pass on the good that is in you, you let the good side of others come out for others. The world needs more compassion, we need to think of others around us in our community as we think of ourselves.
Why wait for a stranger to take the initiative to wake the good in you when you can be the starting point of it?
You need to just practice your random acts of kindness at every given opportunity. It should be on your daily to-do list.
Things children can be taught to do
It does start at home, though, by teaching the children about love and compassion. The best way to do it is by example.
By doing good deeds on spot or having in-depth lessons regarding the importance of kindness, you can create more rounded personalities of the children.
They will look at the world differently, out of their own cocoons. This will give them a broader perspective of how they, as children, can make a huge difference to the world by helping others.
Children should first understand the need to be kind to mother earth, to repay her kindness by being conscious of reducing waste, reusing, and recycling.
This is the best way to return her kindness to us. Teachers and parents must instill this in the children at an early age, so they never take nature for granted.
Teach them to love their planet, to plant trees, and to take care of other species. To protect and not to destroy. It is possible to teach children these good values by being a role model, teach them by example.
They learn by what they see around them and what they live. If they see random acts of kindness being done at home and around them, they will adapt and follow.
Teach them to hold the door for someone when at a marketplace, children can help if they see someone struggling with a full cart at a checkout line at a store.
Smiling at strangers, saying “Good morning” or “Hello” can really light up somebody’s day. These small acts of kindness to strangers will make the child happy and make them realize the importance of selfless acts.
Kind and compassionate children will make kind compassionate adults. So be the example for them, let them know that giving and sharing is more satisfying.
Let the children feel for others and not just for themselves. Teach them to share with less privileged children without expecting anything in return.
Teach them to help stray animals in distress for the good of it like all living things around you. Teach them to show kindness even when nobody is around to bear witness.
How can we pay it forward in our lives?
Let us decide to pay it forward, do a kind deed and move on ahead, leaving the recipient of your kindness to pass it on to somebody else and so on and so forth.
Let us look at the few simple ways in which we can bring about a change in a stranger’s life, a positive change.
Someone once said you are not completely dressed unless you wear a smile and it is so true. A smile can do wonders. Start your day with a smile for your loved one.
On way to work, smile at a stranger and make her day, smile at a footman or elevator boy, and help them feel good.
They are sure to pass on this feeling of happiness and very soon they would be smiling at strangers themselves and making them happy.
Without putting anything into words, you have started a pay forward movement that day. How wonderful can that be! A simple and free way to light up your day!
When at work, you can get endless opportunities to pay it forward, you just need to look around carefully and get out of your own shell.
There is more to life than your own self, others are important as well. Help a new colleague adjust to the new office environment.
Give them some time and explain work-related stuff to them, help them adjust. It would make them feel welcomed and when they say, “Thank You”, ask them to pay it forward, help others.
At the cafeteria, buy a random new entrant a drink. Surprise them and make them happy. The next time they would offer to buy you a drink, but you ask them to pay it forward.
These small acts of kindness have a ripple effect and play a major role in bringing about a positive change in the world when these acts are multiplied by millions of people.
If you would like to spread love, next time you are buying food or coffee for yourself, pay for the person behind you in the line.
Surprise this stranger by buying him food or coffee and make his day. We never know the struggles others go through so try and bring some shine to their lives.
We are all so busy with our own lives that we forget to look around us and see our fellow humans suffering.
Complimenting a stranger on the way to work or at the store can make them so happy. It passes on positive energy and you would never know how much that meant to them, maybe an overworked and overwrought mother who has no time for herself.
If you compliment her, you will make her feel great and it would not cost you a thing.
Look out for the elderly in your neighborhood. There are lonely people out there and have no family or loved ones to comfort them.
Find out about the elderly in your neighborhood and reach out to them. What they really and desperately need is companionship, they need someone to spend time with them, a loving smile, a kind gesture.
Plan weekly visits with your neighbor who you know is lonely and probably housebound or disabled. Bringing them food, books to read, and spending quality time with them will help bring about a positive change in their lives.
It can help change their entire perspective and you come out of this feeling happy, satisfied, and fulfilled yourself, so it is a win-win.
As A Neighbor
New mothers are stressed out most of the time and post-natal can be distressing. Step in and step up your pay it forward movement.
If you know about a new mother in your neighborhood, visit her, and help in whatever way you can.
You can help take care of the baby while she can take a shower or a nap. You can offer to clean up her house while she takes care of the newborn.
You can even take her some meals a few times a week, offer to babysit while she goes out for her groceries.
Spend some evenings with her and have an interesting conversation, she needs to talk to adults also not just baby language.
So, step in and help, she would like to repay your kindness, ask her to pay it forward and start a small movement in your neighborhood.
Homeless people need us more than anybody else. Go out and be aware of people around you who are homeless and need your help.
Buy a homeless person a meal and light up his day. Make a homeless person comfortable by buying him warm blankets for the winter.
A young man helped a homeless by taking him to the barber and giving him a complete clean makeover, a shave, and a haircut.
As A Professional
If you are a professional, bring that into use. We hear of the Vets helping the pets of the homeless and treating them for diseases that they catch out in the open.
A dentist can do his bit and do a six-monthly checkup of homeless people around. These acts of kindness will give you a feeling of living a worthy life. Ask them to pay the kindness forward.
We hear of homeless people going all out to help strangers, while they are the ones needing assistance. The chain of kindness goes on…
Donating What You Don’t Need
Donate your books to the library or a school in your neighborhood. Involve children around you and start a book reading chain. Circulate the books around and help youngsters develop a new hobby.
Have spare change collected in a box on top of the mantlepiece? Free that spare change and make someone’s day….you will notice that as you start doing this, the spare change in your bag gets bigger and bigger and you want to give out more kindness.
So, use this spare change to pay for random people, pay for their parking meter, pay at a toll booth for the car behind you, and bring a smile to their faces.
Why should I pay it forward?
You are living in a dream world if you think you can live through life without others.
We all need each other, and each person is linked to the other in some way.
It is a chain link that needs to be strengthened.
You are responsible not just for yourself but for this universe.
If you throw litter around, cut down forests, kill animals, and still expect to go out of this world scot-free, you are mistaken.
It will come back to bite you.
So, pay it forward and reap positive benefits.
How can we pay it forward as a family?
The simplest method to teach your children the ways to pay forward is by example. Plan one good deed for the week and involve the whole family in it.
If you plan to visit an elderly in the neighborhood and take goodies for her, ask the children to join you in baking the cookies for her.
If you plan to volunteer at the local animal shelter, take your children along, adopt a pet from the shelter.
Ask your kids to take out their woolies to donate at the orphanage, allow them to participate in community work.
How can I pay it forward as a teacher?
As a professional, it becomes easy for you to pay it forward. Share with others what you have and here what you have most is your professional skills.
As a teacher, your goal should be to teach and pass on your knowledge for the betterment of others.
This should be irrespective of who the child is, for, all kids have the right to knowledge.
Share your knowledge with others, volunteer to teach at the orphanage, or the less privileged schools.
Let your knowledge and experience as a teacher, spread love and oneness in your community.
How does paying it forward help you?
Somethings are best when they are just felt and not seen or touched. When you pay forward and start the chain of good deeds, you gain something which is far and beyond anything you can ever experience.
It is a feeling which changes the way you think.
If you are successful in bringing a smile on a stranger’s face, you feel the happiness which nothing can bring, not even the best house, or job or car.
This is happiness clothed in the feeling of contentment and humility.
You find inner peace which is way above all worldly successes.
How can I take the first step in paying it forward?
The first step appears to be difficult; you cannot decide how and where to start from. But it is the easiest. Go out on the road, start walking, and spread smiles. Smile at a stranger, help someone cross the road, or help them carry their stuff to their car.
Think about what you are grateful for. Make a list of things that you are happy and grateful to have.
Be it food, clothes, money, any special skill. Plan what you want to share.
Involve your family in your good plans and start the chain of good deeds.
Do not overthink, just go ahead and do it!
The most precious thing which you can give to a stranger is your time. Free up some time and spend it with someone alone.
There are people out there who are lonely and without families. They need someone to talk with, someone who would listen to them.
Be that ear, that someone who sits and listens to their stories, listen to their troubles.
Do not try and find solutions to their problems, just be there, sit with them and listen. We each have our stories and sharing them lessens the burden.
You will come out of this feeling helpful and so grateful for the life you have.
Help and kindness teach you to be humble and grateful for what you have. So start the pay it forward movement in your area, encourage others to spread kindness. A little bit of compassion goes a long way and paying it forward is the best way to spread happiness and goodness. A selfless deed comes back to you because that’s exactly how karma works…….