Pay It Forward This Valentine’s Day

If you have ever heard the expression to “Pay it Forward,” then you know it means instead of paying someone “back” for showing you kindness, that you pay it “forward” to someone else. While this concept has been around for decades, the idea has really caught on since the American romantic drama, Pay It Forward hit the screen in 2000.

The movie chronicles the life of 12-year-old Trevor McKinney and his school project. The seventh grade Las Vegas student launches a goodwill movement known as “Pay it Forward.” He does a favor for three people, asking each of them to “pay the favor forward” by doing favors for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds. While the story has a tragic ending, the concept of this young man catches on and spreads across the country.

Every year around Valentine’s Day, we hear of others around our area doing similar kind deeds. This deed could be for someone they know or, someone they have never met before. Many people even make these small moments anonymous. When our students were asked what ways they could “Pay it Forward,” here are some of their responses.

  • Fold my laundry for my mom.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee when we go to Dunkin Donuts.
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway without them knowing.
  • Sit with a friend who is having a bad day.
  • Hug my parents.
  • Put away the dishes without being asked.
  • Bring the trash barrels in for my next door neighbor so they don’t blow in the wind.
  • Help my teacher when she needs help.
  • Collect mittens and hats for people who can not afford them.

Even the smallest act of kindness “paid forward” can mean a world of difference to that person. Who knows, that act may get passed on and on.