You can also now follow a Peace Train on Tumblr:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pay it Forward

From Time is Love:
The Idea Behind Paying it Forward
The term Pay It Forward represents an act of kindness that will positively impact another’s life. This term is usually designated to small and random acts of kindness that anyone is capable of achieving. Sure, you could donate 1,000 to charity, and that would be a wonderful act of kindness, but paying it forward is more geared toward simpler tasks that are encouraged on a daily basis.
According to the original post by Belinda Munoz, author of the blog The Halfway Point: Choosing Positivity, the main goal of paying it forward is to take the focus off of oneself and analyze how they can brighten someone else’s day. Looking out for number one and taking what is offered and what you’ve earned is human nature. Giving is much less intrinsic in our nature, but the benefits can be just as rewarding. Knowing that you brightened someone else’s day and asked nothing in return is a gift in itself and worth experiencing.
Photo courtesy of

50 Ideas for Random acts of Kindness

  1. put a quarter in a meter, any meter, that’s about to expire
  2. leave a copy of a really great book you’ve read in a cafe for someone else to enjoy
  3. be nice to the customer service people who are trying to help you with your technological difficulties
  4. tip your restaurant server generously
  5. thank the cooks, waitstaff and bussers personally
  6. say something nice or funny or goofy to the toll booth attendant (like, “Don’t drive too fast, now” or “Glad to have encountered you today”, or something less hokey)
  7. forgive a driver directing road rage at you
  8. buy or pack a meal for a homeless person (or give him/her your to-go box from a restaurant)
  9. give a warm coat to a homeless person
  10. offer to do pro bono work on a project where your skills are needed
  11. mentor someone
  12. make a donation
  13. say a prayer or whisper a kind wish for someone
  14. compliment a stranger
  15. send a box of donuts or bagels or muffins to a construction site
  16. next time you leave a foreign country, give all or some of what’s left of your currency to someone who resides in that country
  17. next time you’re at the airport, offer to pull the bags belonging to a woman or a mother with child out of the conveyor belt
  18. praise generously
  19. give local tips (re: restaurants, sights, etc.) to a tourist
  20. show respect equally to all human beings
  21. put a tip in a street musician’s jar
  22. let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store
  23. tell a funny joke to a stranger
  24. give someone a chance to prove him or herself
  25. encourage someone to pursue their dream
  26. allow someone to let his or her light shine
  27. show support to an artist or writer or musician
  28. hold the door open for someone
  29. tip a cab driver generously
  30. teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  31. smile at someone who’s sad
  32. smile at strangers
  33. offer sincere, kind words to someone who’s hurting
  34. visit a hospice and spend some time with a terminally ill patient
  35. volunteer at a battered women’s shelter
  36. spend some time with a senior citizen living alone
  37. give up your seat on a crowded bus or train or ferry
  38. inspire someone to be the best that they can be
  39. give someone the benefit of the doubt
  40. offer to babysit for a single mother
  41. offer the FedEx, UPS or DHL delivery person something to drink especially on a warm day
  42. help a pregnant lady
  43. sit and talk with a homeless person and learn their story
  44. loan something to someone and forget about it
  45. loan money on Kiva
  46. contribute to a friend’s child’s education fund
  47. give blood
  48. show respect to a soldier regardless of your pacifism
  49. donate to or volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
  50. replace an angry or bitter thought toward someone with a loving thought (or at least try)
Just think about the difference it would make if everyone did at least one of these things every day. Most of them don’t cost any money and have the ability to brighten the day of one or more individuals. As a society, it is about time we took the time to love others; it just might solve some of the social crisis we are faced with. It’s at least worth a shot right?

No comments:

Post a Comment