How you can ‘pay it forward’


A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. James Keller

Thursday, 25 April 2013 was not only ANZAC day for Australians and New Zealanders – a day of remembrance for those that served in World War I – but it also marked my favourite day of the year: Pay It Forward Day! If you haven’t already seen the film “Pay it forward” starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt, make some time for yourself and watch it! It’s a fantastic movie that inspires everyone to be kind to each other no matter what their circumstance is.

Read more about the movie here:

Last year more than 500,000 people in 60 different countries around the world were participating in the Pay It Forward day. This year Happiness Weekly is endorsing the day and hoping to raise further awareness of how your kindness can impact others and encourage the ripple effect – get involved!

“There is a tremendous power and positive energy in giving, it is a shame that not enough people have experienced it to the fullest. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life, giving to someone else and making a positive difference,” the website says.

Why should we Pay It Forward?
There are several reasons why Happiness Weekly endorses the kind of kindness that comes with “paying it forward”:
* It encourages all of us to embrace the power of giving
* It demonstrates that we care and there is love and hope all around us
* It takes the focus away from ourselves and begs the question: “How can I create a little happiness for someone else?”
* It encourages joy among both people involved – the person giving and the person receiving
* It illustrates that while we may only be one person in this world, to one person – at one time, we are the world.

Everyone likes to make a difference to the world, so this week Happiness Weekly shares some suggestions for how you can ‘Pay It Forward’:
– Pay for someone’s coffee in the coffee shop
– Pay for a stranger’s petrol at a petrol station
– Get the next person’s meal at a fast food restaurant
– Shout someone a journey on the bus/train/ferry
– Let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store
– Help family members by doing chores without being asked
– Forgive someone that has wronged you and demonstrate your forgiveness to them
– Visit an elderly person in a retirement village who hasn’t had visitors or who lives alone
– Lend someone your car for something
– Help a student with their tuition
– Buy a stranger a drink
– Be a mentor
– Walk a neighbour’s dog for them
– Baby-sit for free
– Write a letter to someone thanking them for influencing your life in a positive way
– Have a conversation with a taxi driver and then tip generously
– Clean someone’s house
– Offer someone a lift and drive them around
– Leave a tip whenever you can
– Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
– Spend an afternoon baking and bring what you made to work or give it to the local fire or police station
– Pick up someone’s tab when you dine out
– Go through your wardrobe and donate as many of your clothes as you can
– Mow someone’s lawn
– Cook a meal for a friend
– Wash someone’s car for them
– Look after someone’s house while they’re away as though it’s your own
– Put some money in the parking metre for someone
– Leave a copy of a good book or magazine you’ve read in a café for someone else to enjoy
– Treat customer service staff with the highest level of respect
– Offer to do pro bono work where your skills are needed
– Give a homeless person one of your warm coats
– Make a donation to a charity
– Compliment a stranger
– Praise generously
– When leaving a foreign country, leave your currency to someone that lives there
– Give a tourist local advice (e.g. your favourite restaurants, sights, cafes, bars etc)
– Tip a street musician
– Tell someone a funny joke you just heard
– Hold the door open for someone
– Volunteer at a woman’s shelter
– Spend some time with someone who’s terminally ill
– Give up your seat on a crowded bus, train or ferry
– Offer someone an experience they may not usually have that you have access to (for example, take people into the wheelhouse/drivers carriage on public transport or teach someone something your skills can give them)
– Inspire someone to be the best that they can be
– Donate blood
– Help someone carry their groceries to their car
– Purchase umbrellas, blankets and ponchos from a cheap shop – on a rainy day, drive around and offer it to people who need it
– Leave your change in a vending machine
– Send someone a small gift anonymously
– Drop some flowers in to your next door neighbour
– Send a card to someone in the military overseas
– Write to someone in jail
– Write letters of appreciation to groups helping the community/environment
– Offer to take photos of families or couples at tourist spots
– Wave back to children who wave to you
– Sit with someone who is sitting alone
– Water someone’s plants/flowers/garden
– Donate your organs for when you pass
– Volunteer at an animal shelter
– Love your dog? Train it to volunteer at hospitals and nursing homes
– When you get flowers, share them with friends, family or co-workers
– Adopt someone that needs a friend and check in periodically to see how they are
– Buy something for someone because it reminded you of them
– Slip paper hearts under windshield wipers that read: “It’s Random acts of kindness week! Have a great day!”
– Write a note to someone telling them why you love them
– Tell your manager that you think he or she does a great job
– Tell your co-workers that you appreciate their work
– Encourage Random Acts of Kindness in your workplace by drawing office names out of a hat and having a buddy that you need to do a random act of kindness for that week
– Call an estranged family member
– Invite someone new over for dinner
– Go to your favourite outdoor location and pick up rubbish
– Greet someone in the elevator
– Allow someone to merge into your lane
– Don’t beep someone unless it’s a friendly goodbye toot or absolutely necessary
– Return your shopping trolley to the store
– Help a friend pack for a move
– Tape a nice thought or saying to the bus/train/ferry window
– Hug a family member
– Pull a chair out for someone at the dinner table
– Take a newspaper laying on your neighbours driveway to their front door
– Let a manager know your compliment for outstanding customer service
– Print some inspiring signs and post them around town
– Do many kind things for many people as anonymously as you can
– If you see a gap, change it (for example, I used to promote unsigned bands online because no one seemed to know when gigs were on and where. My business made it more accessible and changed the Sydney scene)
– Take your parents out to dinner
– Sign someone up to receive Happiness Weekly posts
– Always smile at people around you
– Actively listen to a stranger
– Tell someone else about the Pay It Forward concept.


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Happiness Weekly encourages readers to proactively work towards a successful, happy and secure existence. Just like happiness – Happiness Weekly is for everyone.

8 responses to “How you can ‘pay it forward’”

  1. Follow This Link says :

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  2. Arron says :

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    • happinessweekly says :

      Hi Arron,
      Thank you for writing to me.
      Actually – aside from having a Facebook and Twitter account – Happiness Weekly is by word-of-mouth promotion. I don’t advertise, write my own comments (except to reply) or tag it where it may be seen.
      I don’t want to force any of my messages on anyone. My theory is that people are here because they want to be here. I’m sorry I can give you any tips or advice on tagging or increasing your blog traffic – this is just done from the heart and, I believe, shared from the heart by my readers.
      Thank you again for taking the time to write to me and all the best with your website.
      Have a wonderful day,

  3. official site says :

    Excellent site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover
    the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

    • happinessweekly says :

      Hi there, thank you for your comment. I recommend checking out the Pay It Forward website mentioned in the article and posing the question to them. I’m sure they will be able to assist. If nothing else, you may inspire them to start the forum 🙂 I agree, online would be a great place to have something like this to bounce ideas around. If no one has started one that you can find, maybe it’s a niche for you to set up? Good luck with it.
      Sarah x

  4. tanie wczasy nad morzem says :

    May perhaps making great music down in Nashville, Tennessee, and you’ll be a a part of it! Hence, they can keep the children’s attraction quicker than the books.

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