Jun 25, 2018 in Research

Pay It Forward


Humans are born from the womb of there mothers. We live among our kind, breath a common air around us; see an illusion known as family, society, country and the world. Each with each passing day we tend to become distant from our source. At times we bind ourselves in different layers of family values, religion, social norms, cultural heritage and spirit of nationalism. Yet all of these layers while being us in one group at the same time tend to disengage us from another. Instead why can’t we as humans take a step ahead and try to harvest a concept termed as ‘Pay it Forward’.

Pay it Forward concept implies that the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead. The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice "paying it forward." The idea might be simple; however its outcome could change the world. The "pay it forward" concept was popularized with the book ‘Pay It Forward” by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into a movie with the same title, starring Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, and Kevin Spacey. Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 22, 1784 stated:

I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

Adapting the message that Benjamin Franklin intended to give from this piece of writing in our day to day walks of life, we the teenagers of the 21st century can start a chain of reaction that could grow. More rapidly then the weeds of greed, hunger, poverty, brutality and may be even something far advanced then the radiations of a nuclear holocost.

As Lily Hardy Hammond wrote, "You don't pay love back; you pay it forward."

An anonymous spokesman for Alcoholics Anonymous said in the Christian Science Monitor in 1944, "You can't pay anyone back for what has happened to you, so you try to find someone you can pay forward" (3).

How we can implement it? The answer to this question can be as simple as lending my lunch today to someone who can’t afford it and is starved since night. To my teachers effort after school to teach a child that cannot afford to come and sit with us in a reputable institution. To the mayor of our city who can help three homless families get some finance to build a schelter for them selves, to the extend that may be Barak Obama can divert 1 % of the budget of US defense forces to places in the world where humans die of hunger, cold and racialism. Even as we debate among ourselves to the utility of this concept at this very time there are different organisations out there who turning this dream into reality.

In this regards “A Pay It Forward Foundation” was established in September 2000 by Catherine Ryan Hyde the author of the book ‘Pay it Forward’ and others to educate and inspire students to realize that they can change the world, and provide them with opportunities to do so. By bringing the author's vision and related materials into classrooms internationally, students and their teachers are encouraged to formulate their own ideas of how they can pay it forward.

A few step by step examples from daily walks of life are elaborated below to understand different ways in which we can pay it forward;-

(a)       Look around you, where you live, dine study, play or walk each day and night. You may find people in need, yet hindered by self-esteem and humility not asking for it, you may pay for his meal, buy a student a book he cant afford, give a poor old lady lift in your car who cannot walk down a few miles etc.

(b)       You do something nice for someone u don’t know, in an invisible way, as a divine hand, like support an orphans education plan, Set up a money plan for an old widow who cannot work. Sent presents to orphans or old home occupants, on thanks giving and holidays when they have no one to turn too for sharing few moments of love.

(c)       When ever someone comes up to you and wishes to return your favor, you may ask him to instead forward the same emotion and passion to someone forward. Thus, starting a chain of helping out hands, where the hand reaches out in search for the needy, instead of being vise versa.

(d)       Like way make a note, which when ever a good deed reaches you from someone, is sure to pass it on to a few more wanting souls and let the spirit of pay forward to continue.


The world we live in may seem to be growing with each passing moment. However its growth is market with signs of emotional and social death. We humans may be increasing in number, occupying more and more land, yet our instincts and patterns of evolution are similar to virus i.e. we accumulate all that comes in your way in our shortsightedness with less consideration to sharing, preservation, safe guarding our own race and mother earth that we live and walk over. Pay it forward concept may serve as a saviour of not only human race but earth along with all its habitants in coming years. Now its up to us all to consider whats best for us all, may be some day the hand extended out by me comeback to me, giving me a few more moments of life among us humans.

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