Many of you may be familiar with the 2000 movie "Pay It Forward". It is the story of a young boy who did good deeds for strangers, and in exchange all he asked of them was that they pass it on, by doing a good deed for someone else. In effect, paying it forward instead of paying it back. What a wonderfully simple idea!
By passing it along, the practice of performing good deeds for others would spread throughout society.
Does it work? Some theories hold that if you receive a kindness, or even witness a kindness among strangers, that you might be more likely to perform a random act of kindness when the opportunity presents itself.
Some people believe it's a cycle. Your act of kindness, though not repaid directly or immediately, will someday cycle back around to you. You will then be rewarded when you least expect it, and maybe when you need it the most.
The best example of paying it forward is something that happens somewhere probably every day. One person starts it by paying for the person behind them in line - whether at the neighborhood coffee shop, the drive-through window at your favorite fast food place, or maybe on line at a toll booth.
Doing one good deed for someone may not seem like much, but it could mean everything to the recipient. We really have no idea what others are dealing with in their daily lives. Buying that simple cup of coffee for the person behind you in line might not seem like much - after all, that person was already on line planning to pay for their own coffee.
But that unexpected act of kindness might just be enough to stay in their mind for a while. So maybe the next day when they are in line behind the elderly person, or the young mother, who appears to be struggling to pay for their groceries, they may remember your random act of kindness, and offer to help pay that bill. Think about that, paying that kindness forward may not have happened if you hadn't paid for their coffee the day before...
We would love to hear about, and share, your experiences with random acts of kindness. See what other readers are sharing and please take a moment to share your experience!
Even though one small act seems inconsequential, think what could happen if everyone did something kind for someone else!
Try it... Decide that you will look for at least one opportunity a day to perform a kind act. It doesn't have to involve money, as buying something is not required. We have a great list of ideas, and many are very simple.
For some people, giving and sharing is just part of their nature. Perhaps it was passed down from a parent who practiced acts of kindness. Or maybe they have been the recipient of an act of kindness that touched them deeply. One thing I can promise, the recipient is not the only one who will be blessed. You will walk away feeling as good about it as they will. Try it and see for yourself...