10 Reasons Why Paying it Forward Really Works

Others, Leadership

We hear the phrase, “pay it forward” tossed around from time-to-time but what is the real impact? Life Strategies gives 10 reasons as to why paying it forward really works and how it can impact others and ourselves.

1. It’s easy to understand. At the most basic level, paying it forward is simple: helping someone who is in need. It’s an easy concept to grasp and put into action; it requires neither little forethought nor a large-scale coordinated effort.

2. It’s familiar. We’ve all likely heard “what goes around, comes around” or “you get what you give.” It’s a well-known concept in many societies that if you send positivity and goodwill out into the universe, you’ll receive positivity and goodwill in return. Consider the notion of Karma – there are always consequences to your actions.

3. It feels good to do good. You may remember your parents saying it’s better to give than to receive. Perhaps as a child, you couldn’t see the truth in those words; however, altruism has a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

4. It’s open to everyone. Regardless of gender, age, socio-economic status, ability level, language, or ethnicity, anyone can pay it forward. Consider the novel and movie that popularized the concept. Here, as part of a school project, a school-aged boy helps three individuals asking them to repay
the good deeds by helping others.

5. It provides an alternative. Perhaps it’s not possible to directly repay someone who helped you out – consider anonymous donations. Paying it forward allows the good-deed receiver to act on their appreciation and spread goodwill to others.

6. It doesn’t take much. Just like a pebble tossed in a lake creating ripples on the water’s surface, one seemingly insignificant action can have a big impact in the world. Whether it’s buying someone a coffee, helping someone with not enough money for his/her grocery bill, or giving a homeless person some assistance, these good deeds can have a big impact for those on the receiving end, hopefully inspiring them to assist someone else.

7. It builds community. We are all connected through our international community and, at times, we’ll need the support of others to get us through. You can find accounts of paying it forward throughout the world. Check out this kindness map to see what others are doing and learn how to take part in International Pay it Forward Day.

8. It proves there are still good people out there. Paying it forward is more than just a feel-good segment in the midst of all the negative news; it’s proof that it’s the right thing to do and keeps us focused on the positive.

9. It provides hope for the future. Building on a hopeful and optimistic view for the future, paying it forward gives us faith that the world can be a better place if we work to make it that way.

10. It’s contagious. When we surveyed our contacts on this concept, one respondent reported a drive thru where person after person was paying for the order behind them. A seemingly endless stream of paying it forward. Perhaps it was a sense of obligation; however, we’d like to think this small good deed truly caught on.

By Life Strategies

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

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10 Reasons Why Paying It Forward Really Works

Life Strategies