Pay It Forward (or ‘How To Make The World A Better Place’)

“Do a good deed” has been on my ‘to do’ list for a few days. So I finally decided that yesterday was going to be the day I actually put a big check mark next to it. I’d spent the previous evening trying to think of things to do, and had come up short. (It’s a sad day when you can’t even think of something nice to do for another human being.) As it turned out, Facebook was my friend.

I logged in yesterday morning to have a quick look before heading off to work. Lo and behold, the very first update I saw was from a group I joined recently. One of the other members was posting some items she was selling off in order to raise funds for her autistic son. She wrote about how difficult she was finding it because she really loved some of the items she was offering but, obviously, she loved her son more.

So there it was – the universe was presenting me with an opportunity to do good. I got her PayPal address and send a small contribution to her. That way she would have the money, but would also still have the items. And I left for work feeling mighty pleased with myself.

The reason I’m sharing the story is not to gloat, but hopefully to inspire someone else to do a good deed too. Over the years, there have been many people who have made my day with a kind gesture or a genuine compliment. Those people will never know how grateful I was, and how their words and actions stayed with me. If I can do the same for someone else, all the better!

You know that saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world”? That’s what good deeds are all about. If you want the world to be a better place (and, really, who wouldn’t want that), you have to start by being a better person. You have no idea how much your actions could affect another person. When you smile at a stranger, or make conversation with a cashier, you could be impacting on that person’s life much more than you know.

Pay It Forward

Maybe that person was going through a tough time – perhaps even feeling utter despair – and your smile was the brightness they needed to see. Maybe that person was just having a bad day and felt unloved and unappreciated, and your casual question about how they were doing made them feel acknowledged. Maybe that person had just moved to this new place and was feeling lost and alone, and your offer to help them with directions made them feel secure and confident.

Once you brighten someone’s day, they’re much more likely to brighten someone else’s… and on and on it goes.

Has anyone ever said or done something that made you happy? Why not pay it forward? It’ll make both you and the recipient feel great. Double win!

So go ahead, do a good deed today. Then come back here and tell us about it in a comment.

Have you got tips for things people can do to ‘pay it forward’? I’d love to hear them!