“If you can’t pay it back, pay it forward.” — Catherine Ryan Hyde

Pay It Forward is an expression for when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting or repaying the original good deed. It is synonymous with the concept of Enlightened Self-Interest – behavior based on the awareness that what is in the public interest is eventually in the interest of all individuals and groups.

 Giving back is very important and the need to pay it forward cannot be over-emphasized. No one is self-made, we all get some help from the society and the onus is on us to give back to the society by becoming a mentor, leading by example, volunteering, sharing, and becoming the change we want in the world.

“You Can Have Everything In Life You Want, If You Will Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.” – Zig Ziglar

Pay It Forward Movie

Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay It Forward was published in 1999 and adapted into a movie of the same name in 2000. In the movie, Social studies teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) gives his class an assignment: look at the world around you and fix what you don’t like. One student comes up with an idea: #1 it is something that really helps people; #2 something they can’t do by themselves; and #3 do it for them, then do it for three other people.

“If you can’t pay it back, pay it forward.” – Catherine Ryan Hyde

In the movie, 7th grader Trevor implements the plan himself, forming a branch of good deeds. His first deed is to let a homeless man named Jerry live in his garage, and Jerry pays the favor forward by doing car repairs for Trevor’s mother Arlene. He further pays forward by preventing a woman from killing herself.