Last Updated on February 25, 2023 by asifa
You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘pay it forward’. But what actually does it mean, and how can you get involved?
There is both a movie and a novel called Pay It Forward, that tells the story of a young boy that does 3 good deeds, with the request that each person he helped goes on to do three good deeds of their own.
The idea is that if everyone did one good deed for someone else, it would create a cycle of kindness and generosity that would spark positivity in everyone – and a desire to be better people.
And while the book and movie are lovely stories, there are plenty of ways you can actually ‘pay it forward’ in the real world. So why not start now? Find out what Centrepoint is doing to address the homeless crisis?
How it works
All you have to do is do a single good deed for someone else, without asking for something in return. Instead, you can ask the person to ‘pay it forward’, in the hope they will be inspired by your kindness and pass the generosity onto another person. You can also download cards from the Pay It Forward website if you’d prefer to hand your recipient something to explain the cycle.
Pay it forward ideas
So, what can you do to pay it forward? Below are just a few ideas to keep in mind.
- Pay for the person behind you. This random act of kindness could make someone’s day! Whether you pay for someone’s train ticket, their morning coffee, or even their order at the drive-thru.
- Do odd jobs for your elderly neighbors. Mow the lawn, repair that drainpipe, or help them with their shopping.
- Donate money to a local cause. Take a look at charities in Houston to find one that you want to support.
- Hype up your waiter to their manager. Very few people actually leave positive feedback in restaurants. Now’s the time to change that.
- Hand out lottery scratch cards along with a Pay It Forward card. Who knows, you might just make someone a millionaire!
- Buy a homeless person a hot meal. Or, donate a sleeping bag or umbrella.
- Offer your services free of charge. Someone in need may not be able to afford your services. Offer them for free and ask them to return the favor by paying it forward to someone else.
- Cook for someone else. A new mother, someone recovering from a hospital trip, etc. Busy people are bound to appreciate not having to cook for themselves after a long day.
- Thank the little guys: The mail guy, the door man, the receptionist.
- Run errands for someone less able. Perhaps a friend or relative needs a little help?
- Become a mentor (or cheerleader) for someone that needs support.
These are just a few ideas. You’re bound to notice little things that can be done around the house or in your local neighborhood to help others. Even if the recipient doesn’t pay it forward, you’ll definitely feel happier in yourself after helping someone else. Kindness is ever so rewarding.