I love the concept of ‘paying it forward’ and practice it regularly. I figured most people knew of the idea but was surprised to learn recently that although quite a few of my friends had heard of the film ‘Pay It Forward‘, they had never heard of the principle… so fast forward to this article where I explain the concept and a few suggestions on how you can put it into practice.
The idea behind ‘pay it forward’ is that when someone does something kind to you, instead of reciprocating the deed back directly, you pass it on to somebody else, hence the phrase, pay it forward. The theory is that not only will you make another person happy, you will also set in motion a chain reaction that can make a positive difference in the world. Of course you don’t have to wait until someone does you a good deed. You can be the one who sets it all in motion by performing the first act of kindness.
Need some inspiration? Below you will find 40 simple selfless ways you can pay it forward.
1/ Put a coin in a meter that’s about to expire.
2/ Donate books you no longer need to a charity shop.
3/ Offer to pick up groceries for elderly or disabled neighbours.
4/ Donate your old clothes to charity.
5/ Share your umbrella with a stranger on a wet rainy day.
6/ Drop off unused food to a homeless shelter.
7/ Offer your services for free.
8/ Tell someone you love that you love them.
9/ Adopt a pet that needs rescuing.
10/ Greet people with a smile.
11/ Volunteer at a food bank.
12/ Invite someone new to your home for dinner.
13/ Donate 5% of your income to a charity.
14/ Write a positive review online about a local business.
15/ Say ‘yes’ when someone asks for help.
16/ Help raise money by doing a charity run.
17/ Pick up litter.
18/ Ask for donations instead of birthday/Christmas/wedding presents.
19/ Do a good deed for a homeless person.
20/ Offer your seat to an elderly person.
21/ Carry someone’s grocery bags.
22/ Learn CPR. You could save someone’s life.
23/ Offer to take a photo for a tourist.
24/ Help a friend move house.
25/ Overtip a friendly waitress.
26/ Compliment someone every day.
27/ Acknowledge people when they walk into a room
28/ Mow the lawn for an elderly person.
29/ Let someone go ahead of you in a queue.
30/ Shop at local businesses.
31/ Donate blood.
32/ Stick up for someone who is being treated badly.
33/ Spread good news.
34/ Send flowers to someone going through tough times.
35/ Buy house warming gifts for new neighbors.
36/ Let other drivers merge in front of you.
37/ Volunteer at a charity.
38/ Hug a friend.
39/ Donate food to an animal shelter.
40/ When someone wants to repay you for a good deed, ask them to pay it forward!