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Pay it Forward and the Love Comes Back to You

Updated on July 21, 2011

The concept of "Paying it forward" has been around for a long, long time ( long before the movie with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt came out) the Bible, it says, "Cast thy bread upon the waters and it will return to you in many days", and that, friends, is the essential concept behind "paying it forward".

If you do something GOOD for someone, if you help out a stranger that's in a bit of a jam, if you help out friends and family with no thought of reciprocal favors, eventually, though you are not looking for it, the good you do comes back to you.

The whole concept of karma, good and bad karma, is, in its essence, the concept of paying it forward. What you do, whether for good or for evil, comes back to you.

The concept of paying it forward has one more ingredient: when a stranger helps you out, you then return the favor, not to the person who helped you, but to others. You now have the obligation to help out three other people; you need to pay your debt of helpfulness forward, into the future. Those three other people in their turn then help out three others each, and the whole thing grows exponentially, with people helping other people all over the place, or at least that's the idea...

Opportunities arise unexpectedly in our daily lives to help someone out, to pay it forward. We go along, settled, set in our routines, fulfilling our obligations to work, to church, to family, to friends. Isn't that enough? Doesn't that make us each a good person?

Well, yes, sure--of course it does. We can get TOO set in our routines, and we can become oblivious to those outside our immediate circle of people that we ordinarily interact with. That's a bad thing, that's not a good thing, and that's why the whole concept of paying it forward adds a wonderful fillip to our ordinary existences. We are now on the look-out for chances to help, to do good things for people. And not necessarily people we already know. This makes us much more aware of all the other people in the world, that cohabit this earth; some of those people that might just need a hand.

A chance favor offered, a small opportunity to help someone that might mean little to you but a lot to them, can light up your whole day, can put a smile on your face when before you reached out to the person, inside your heart you were frowning. You might have been chugging along with your daily life, starting to feel the whole thing is rather pointless, through repetition. Then, you get the opportunity, unexpectedly, out of the blue, to pay it forward, and if you act on it, it can make your whole day feel a lot more worthwhile.

Social awareness begins with baby steps; it begins with individuals and individual acts of kindness to others.

Though a baby-boomer and a child of the "me" generation, I have always found the people that are the best socially adapted people have those three elements in their hearts, of faith, hope, and charity..."and of the three charity is the greatest of suffers long, and is kind."

I also have always felt, that we all need to try to do good to others, to pay it forward, because there may come a day when we need someone to be kind to us. And serendipitously, it always seems to happen that the good you do comes back to you when you really, really need it to.


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    • Roslynn7 profile image


      5 years ago from Europe

      This is very true. We can have peace in the whole world if we start respecting other people. I love your articles - very substantial and mind-boggling.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Exactly scarytaff, and thank you for the comment.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      7 years ago from South Wales

      What does the old song say, 'If I can help somebody as I go along, then my living shall not be in vain,'

      Great sentiments.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, A Kirchner. I know, we don't always get the satisfaction of seeing how our good deeds turn out, and sometimes they don't even turn out that well! Nevertheless, I do believe they go into that great Bank in the Sky. I believe also it's better to take a chance, help somebody out, than live completely and safely inside your known territory ( I was going to say treadmill. Territory is the better word, I think.)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      I believe in that, too - but sometimes we don't get to see how our good deeds turn out. I like to think that they go into the bank somewhere for someone else to use when they need it~ Great subject!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, breakfastpop. Lovely comment, and I like your avatar, too!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely hub about a wonderful idea to incorporate into our lives. Up and awesome.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Of course, Phil!!! Why didn't I think of that? (Smile.)

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Yep, the more good we do unto others, the more good will be done for us. No doubt about it.

      Why restrict yourself to helping three people out? Why not give the help at all occasions where it is possible?

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Sunnie Day. I love your avatar name, and it's entirely appropriate!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Morning Paridise..we meet

      I just love this concept and this is life in a nutshell..I truly believe in "Paying it Forward" also "falling forward"..It is planting seeds in the lives of others with the return coming straight to the sower..Thank you for sharing an awesome hub..

      take care,



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