By Bronwyn Ison

The phrase “Pay it Forward,” was coined and popularized in 2000. The movie, Pay It Forward starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey is inspirational. A young boy is given a school assignment. The assignment is as follows, how can he change the world? The boy initiates a chain of events when he develops a pay it forward concept. How would you pay it forward?

Offering to do something kind for someone else should come naturally. It should be consummated with a selfless spirit. The act of altruism should not be done with an attitude of “Look at me and what I have done for you.” Or, “Check me out!” Clearly this defeats the intent and the act of paying it forward loses its luster.

This concept has a deep and firm foundation in history. Ben Franklin loaned a friend, Benjamin Webb in 1784, some money with the intention of helping him out of a situation. Ben Franklin did not seek repayment but rather hoped Mr. Webb would help someone in need at a later date. Paying it forward simply means: helping another person without ever seeking repayment or good deeds in return. Consider how many charitable organizations receive gifts or money by anonymous donors. This is truly a selfless act. The organization or person does not expect any recognition. They are giving from their hearts.


Do not misconstrue that you must give in the form of money. It could be as simple as opening the door for someone or allowing someone to go ahead of you in line because they are in a hurry. Therefore even if you do not have deep pockets it does not negate a simple act of kindness. How surprising would it be if you secretly treated the person behind you in line to their morning coffee? This simple act of kindness would be the beginning of a great day for someone.

The next time you recognize someone displaying kindness, reciprocate or wait for another opportunity. Fortunately you may have several chances throughout your day to give to another person. You will also notice how great you made the other person feel. Remember it is not about YOU! Act selflessly and your smile will be brighter and your heart will soar.  How will you pay it forward today?

Bronwyn Ison is the Owner of Evolve Yoga. (9642) ON DEMAND YOGA CLASSES, & Founder of Better For IT Now, a signature 7-Principle program to improved self-care.