At some point in our lives, almost every one of us has received some form of help or kindness from someone that we were not able to repay directly. Many of us may have remembered the kindness and replicated it to help someone else in a similarly difficult situation. That’s called “paying it forward”.
The act of doing selflessly for others, known as altruism, is therapeutic. Giving to or doing for others, without expecting anything in return, makes us feel good. This is only half of it, though. The act of kindness very often has quite a profound effect on the beneficiary. We will be looking into what paying it forward means and we will also share some pay it forward ideas that are very easy to implement.
What is the pay it forward concept?
“Pay it forward”, linguistically, is the opposite of “pay it back”. In life, this means that a received kindness is not reciprocated to the beneficiary but, rather, the kindness is passed onto someone else in similar distress at some later stage.
Maya Angelou, the award-winning American poet put it quite eloquently with two of her famous quotes. “When you learn, teach. When you get, give” or “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back”.
Pay it forward ideas
Many pay it forward ideas are purely physical acts of kindness and compassion and do not involve spending any money. Following on all the economic devastation caused by Covid-19 restrictions, we will be looking at ideas that involve payment and financial assistance to the beneficiary.
- Sponsor a child.
This is one of the most selfless humanitarian acts that a person can perform. There are millions of children around the world that are undernourished or cannot afford an education. Sponsoring a child need not cost a fortune. Some organizations can feed and educate a child for a matter of a few dollars a month.
Although, as the benefactor, you may not see the result of your kindness, rest assured, those children are enormously grateful. They liken the aid to the touch of an angel. It is not unknown for the beneficiary to one day look up their benefactor to offer thanks in person. Great friendships have been known to form in this manner.
- Deliver a grocery hamper to a person in need
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer the most traumatic economic hardship. Getting by and having food on the table is a daily worry. And, very often, these people go to sleep hungry.
A food parcel can be made up relatively inexpensively. It should consist primarily of staples and dry foods that can go a long way. You may think that it only buys them a few days; you couldn’t be further off the mark. The difference in that person’s life, even if only for a week, is something like a miracle.
- Buy a coffee for the next person in line
This is just a feel-good gesture. The person behind you may well be wealthier than you. That’s not what this is about. This is just one of those things that makes everyone in the shop smile. And, seriously, we’re talking about five bucks.
Making a scene about it, however, defeats the object. When you pay for your beverage, discreetly ask the cashier to add an additional amount to the bill. Chances are the person will hear you but don’t broadcast it deliberately. The goodwill this generates will last all day. Guaranteed.
- Buy a meal for a homeless person
Homeless people seldom have any financial resources. None whatsoever, in most cases. Meals are frequently scavenged and, almost always, cold and vile. The appreciation at the prospect of a fresh, hot and appetizing meal will be clearly evident when you hand the package over.
The extra privilege of seeing the homeless person paying it forward by sharing the meal with others or with animals in the vicinity is something that will be etched in your memory for a long, long time to come.
- Leave a jar of change at a shop’s checkout
Put all your small coins in a jar. When the jar is full, leave it at the checkout at a local grocery or convenience store. Attach a sign reading “Change for those that need it”. You would be amazed how many people miscalculate and arrive at the checkout just a few cents short. This change spares them the indignity of having to decide which item to put aside.
Where can you do it and how?
Armed with these pay it forward ideas, let’s now look at the practical side of it. You can pay it forward anywhere. Although in this article, we have looked at pay it forward ideas that will directly help people in need, there are many others that do not involve any expense. Some are as simple as holding the door open for someone.
With so many ways to pay it forward, there is no limit to where you can do it or to whom. Wherever you can pay for a product or a service, or wherever there are people. That’s where you can pay it forward. It’s not limited by borders, nor by politics, nor by status. It’s a person-to-person act that you can do where and when you want to.
How to implement a pay it forward transaction
In order to execute any of the monetary pay it forward ideas, you need a payment method. Nowadays the options are plentiful and super easy. You never again have to try to pay it forward only to find you don’t have enough cash to buy what you wanted.
Neither do you have to worry about the potential spread of viruses and bacteria. Contactless, chipped cards and mobile apps make payments effortless and sterile. Source of funds? No problem. You can transact in any accepted currency, including cryptocurrencies. Although cryptocurrencies are still gaining acceptance by merchants all over the world, there are several apps and providers that offer seamless trading and exchange services.
Become a daily philanthropist with Elly
One such platform is Elly. Elly, a product of Eligma Limited, provides a one-device-fits-all payment gateway that offers all available payment methods on a single device. It offers payments in cryptocurrencies to all participating merchants.
Merchants can choose to receive the settlement in cryptocurrency or in local currency. This is true payment flexibility. Nothing now stands in your way to act on your pay it forward ideas every single day.