A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance. That was the plot for a feature film starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment called Pay It Forward (released on October 20, 2000).
A single act of kindness can ripple out to change the world. It got me thinking - how can we thoughtfully pay kindness forward in our own lives?
We all have people who impacted us profoundly, but we never properly thanked. Rather than regret, view it as an opportunity. How can you pay their gift of kindness forward today?
Start by looking inward - what acts of kindness most touched you? Was it advice that changed your life? Help when you desperately needed it? Or simple words of encouragement?
Now ponder how you can thoughtfully pay that specific kindness forward. If mentoring made the difference for you, offer to mentor someone who needs guidance. If you were uplifted by a stranger’s encouraging words, be the stranger who uplifts someone else today.
Paying it forward requires presence - notice what people around you need and act. Offer your seat on the train to someone who is tired. Surprise a stressed barista by paying for the next person. Write an inspirational note to a struggling friend.
As you pay kindness forward, reflect on how it makes you feel. Appreciate how one conscious act of generosity can uplift both the giver and receiver. And consider how when we thoughtfully lift each other up, we elevate humanity. If this continued throughout the day, imagine the impact it could have on so many - and it starts with you. You never know, you might be the energy that starts an entire gratitude snowball! And the most amazing thing is that you won’t probably know how many you have touched or even who they are. But the feeling you can create for yourself by your one gesture could be amazing.
Find your own way to…Pay It Forward.
So what random act of kindness will you do this week to pay it forward? I challenge you to find your own way to spread some goodness in the world. The possibilities are endless - be creative! Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below. I can't wait to hear how we can lift each other up.
“Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.” - Victor Webster