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OFF-TOPIC Pay it Forward


Aug 26, 2007
Let me take you back to a movie that came out in 2000, Pay it Forward. It’s a good movie and worth dusting it off and watching again. The premise of the movie was a seventh grade student, Trevor, took a Social Studies assignment to the next level. The assignment:

Think of an idea to change the world, and put it into action.

When we see Trevor explaining his idea to the class it looks much like a conversation drawn on a napkin in a coffee shop. He explains that everyone should do three really big favors for someone else, it should be hard to do, and then those who received the favor should do the same for three more people. He said you can’t plan it; you just have to watch people and see what they need.

Now, really big has a lot to do with who the people in the exchange are. The movie starts with someone giving a Jaguar to a reporter, and Trevor’s first favor was to a homeless guy; he gave him a place to stay for the night and a shower as well as what he had in savings, which for an eleven year old was probably not a lot. Still, the favor was really big for both Trevor and the homeless guy and, in perspective, really big for the reporter and the guy who gave the car.

Go back and watch the movie to get the details and ideas it provides, but the point in bringing it up now is really more of a challenge, should you decide to take it.

What if people really did pay it forward? What impact can one person really have on the world? If you get to see the results of your favors awesome but don’t expect to see any results. The kid thought his idea was a failure because he didn’t see results.

If you choose to pay it forward whether you share here or not is up to you. The important thing is that you hopefully do something. And, if you don’t do it for altruistic reasons, how about a selfish one?

Most people believe, in some way, that what you give you get back. Call it the Golden Rule, call it Karma, call it whatever, but generally most agree it to be a true concept. So if you pay it forward to others, someone may just pay it forward to you.

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Aug 29, 2007
Regina, SK, Canada
I just watched this movie again the other day. I used to do the whole random acts of kindness thing all the time (ussually paying off random peoples tabs when I was drunk...haha) and just tell them to pay it forward. It was still a good feeling maybe bringing a bright spot to someone elses day, if nothign else.

One of the classiest things like this was when I met a guy named George Strombolopolis (a somewhat well known TV personality in Canada). He was in town doing a documentary and after about 20 minutes of the old "Yeah, I think that's him" bit, one of my friends kind of pulled super fan on him and started talking to him. He came over to our table (my friend didn't invite him over or anything) and started shooting the shit with us for a while. Shortly after he left the waiter came up to us and said 'This is from Mr. S' and he bought us all a round of drinks. When George left he didn't mention anything about buying a round or anything, he just did the old 'I've gotta take off, have a good night bit', so he could have totally left and we would have been fine with just shooting the shit. A lot of celebs will do the good PR of signing an autograph, maybe taking a pic and getting out of dodge. It was a really small thing but for a celeberty to do something actually personal for a couple people. It made our night and and we ended up buying a round for the table next to us when we left, since we ended up saving a couple bucks on the free round. Not sure if they paid it forward or not, but we tried.

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