Where does pay it forward come from?

The idea itself is thousands of years old and comes to us through the wisdom literature of ancient spiritual traditions.

In Dhammapada 10.1 The Buddha says, “Consider others as yourself,” emphasizing our connectedness to each other. 

Jesus, in Luke 6:31 takes the idea a step further when he says, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you,’ which lets us know that the way we treat others often results in them treating us the same way.

In other words, if you sow love, you’ll reap love.

Paying it forward is not just good for other people, it’s also good for you!

Is paying it forward the same as being nice?

There are a few really important differences between just being nice to people and actually paying it forward. Let’s take a quick look at the three steps to paying it forward, and how this is a different idea from what we’re used to.

The first step in paying it forward is all about paying attention.

Pay attention to the good things that happen to you, no matter how small they might seem. This is an awesome habit to put into practice because it helps you shift your mindset from negative to positive. It helps to take you out of a victim mentality and into an attitude of empowerment. 

You get to choose what you focus on!

The second step in paying it forward is to feel gratitude. When you let yourself feel grateful for any good thing that happens to you, it automatically increases your ability to see even more positive things. Which then leads to the next step in paying it forward.

The third step in paying it forward is to become aware of someone else who might need encouragement.

How can I pay it forward

There are a lot of different ways you can pay it forward. Anything from a smile, a kind word, or giving to a charitable organization can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Let’s explore some great ideas for practical ways you can pay it forward.

Give to a charity

One of the easiest and most effective ways to pay it forward is to donate money to an organization that is already paying it forward every single day.

This is a great choice because organizations like The Alliance Foundation are already experienced at making every dollar you donate matter. In other words, they know how to extract the maximum value from your donation in order to make a difference in someone’s life.

If you don’t have a lot to give, that’s OK. Even small donations help!

Although there are many great organizations you can partner with, 

The Alliance Foundation is an awesome choice because it’s helping people with critical survival needs. 

The people whose lives are being changed by this organization are often in need of food and shelter. Your gift means someone can get nourishment and have a roof over their head.

Your gift could literally save someone’s life!

Give to someone you already know

There are an infinite number of ways to pay it forward to the people already in your life. Here are a few basic suggestions:

You can give time. 

You can give money.

You can give resources.

You can give advice.

All of these are great ways to pay it forward. If you’re trying to figure out what makes the most sense for a particular person in your life, ask yourself what would most encourage them.

Psychologists agree that one thing we all desperately need is encouragement. The only catch is: it won’t look the same for everyone. Some people need money, some need to hear encouraging words, others just need someone to listen and maybe offer advice. 

If you’re not sure what someone needs, you can always ask. Even something as simple as asking what someone needs is a great way to show you care!

Begin to pay it forward

It all starts with noticing the good things in your own life, feeling gratitude for those things, and then responding by paying it forward.

If you want to pay it forward, but don’t have a lot of time, keep it simple and start by giving to a charity like The Alliance Foundation. You’ll automatically be paying it forward right away.

Then, you can gradually add to your donations, either by increasing the amount you’re giving or by thinking of other creative ways to pay it forward!


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