Archive for March 27th, 2008

Pay It Forward

In 2000, a movie called “Pay It Forward” came about. In it, a social studies teacher gives his second-grade students a task for extra credt: come up with an idea to make the world a better place. The main character, a student, comes up with the idea he calls paying forward. Person A does three favors, for Persons B, C, and D. Then each of these people does three favors for three different people, so after just two tiers of this idea, twelve people have had their life made better in some way. The favors are to be done unasked and without any expectation or return: the person helped must simply pay it forward as well.

In the movie, the student starts his idea by taking a vagrant home and lets him clean up and get food. The child explains the PIF idea to him. The vagrant then learns that the child’s mother takes a taxi to work every day because her truck is broken down. The vagrant pays forward by repairing the truck. The vagrant noves on, and the idea spreads as he does his remaining favors. (Do watch the movie some time, the whole thing is wonderful, even if it is a bit long.)

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