Do you remember the 2000 movie, Pay it Forward? A young schoolboy comes up with an ingenious idea to change the world for the better. His idea is to help three people do something they can’t do for themselves, and to ask them, instead of paying him back, to thank him by giving help to three other people, who in turn will give thanks by doing something for three other people, and so on. The movie had its limitations, but the idea has power.
What if large numbers of people really started to “pay it forward”? A facebook group called The Official “Pay it Forward” Experiment has more than 15,000 members. The administrator of the group acknowledges that “[p]erhaps we can’t change the world with this project, but if we can share our kindness and generosity with three other people, maybe we can change ‘their’ world.” If even a fraction of the 15,000 members of this group help three people and ask them to pay it forward…and even a fraction of those helped go out and help three more people, who then go out and help three more and so on….well, that’s an awful lot of goodness being spread throughout the world.
So what will you do to “pay it forward”? It doesn’t have to be giving away a Jaguar (as someone did in the movie). Often what seem like small actions on our part have big consequences to those we help. One contributor to the facebook group suggested that if you’re not sure what to do to pay it forward, to ask yourself what it is you are passionate about, what tugs at your heart strings; that will help you come up with some ideas. The point is that every act, every step, however small, is one step closer to transforming the world, to promoting God’s kingdom here on earth.