Simple Ways To Pay it ForwardSimple Ways to Pay It Forward

As we welcome in a new year and think about all of the ways we would like to better ourselves for 2017, let’s also think about all of the ways we can better the lives of our family, friends, our community and the world.

Following in the vein of A Modest (Christmas) Proposal, let’s take a moment to reflect on some simple ways that we can touch the people around us and keep the magic of Christmas alive. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by putting the Pay it Forward movement in motion.

What is Pay it Forward, you ask?

If you’re not familiar with it, the basic concept of Pay it Forward is to respond to a person’s kindness towards you by “paying forward” that kindness to another person. Put another way, when you perform a good deed for someone, your intention is that they pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else, and so on. There are 7 billion people in this world. Can you imagine how much good we could accomplish if every single person completed just one small act of kindness without expecting anything to return to them?

Actions speak louder than words and even the smallest gesture can touch someone in ways that you never thought possible. Maybe you feel that you don’t have the time, money or resources to make a grand gesture of kindness, but don’t let that stop you! Often, it’s the little day to day interactions that we have with people that make the biggest impact. You don’t have to be a celebrity, a millionaire or an accomplished business person to pay it forward.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some simple ways that you can put the Pay It Forward movement in motion:

  • Offer a kind smile to a stranger as you pass them in the street or interact with them as you go about your day
  • See a parking meter that’s about to or has expired? Top it up and leave a note asking that they pay it forward
  • Entering a store? Hold the door open for the person behind you
  • Grabbing a coffee? Pay for the person’s order behind you – you will likely make their day!
  • Buying groceries? Offer to let someone go in line ahead of you
  • Thinking of an old friend that you’ve lost touch with? Reach out to them and let them know you were reminded of them and hope they are doing well – what a nice surprise that message would be!
  • Had a positive experience with a local business? Write a positive Google or Facebook review about them
  • Say your daily Thank Yous – to your coworker, your mom, your friend, the person who held the door for you at Timmie’s – let them know that you truly appreciate them.
  • Practice patience – in stressful situations, remind people they can choose to keep their cool by showing them how you’ve kept yours

You will be surprised by how good it feels to do a good deed for someone else without expecting anything in return. The feeling of warmth, kindness and a renewed hope in human nature will make a difference to you, the person you’ve paid it forward to and those around you. All of a sudden the world seems brighter, full of more possibilities and faith in humanity is restored!

That feeling will do more to lift you up and carry you through a bad day than you can imagine. We challenge you to be on the lookout for ways to Pay It Forward in 2017. Don’t lose that loving feeling — Pay It Forward!