Pay it Forward and the Love Comes Back to You
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)...in 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 these...charity 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.