Last month I included “paying it forward” in my goals and I wanted to revisit the topic today in more detail. If you haven’t heard the phrase and are wondering what it means to “pay it forward,” it’s giving back with a random act of kindness to a stranger.
I’ve always loved the concept, especially after reading the Kids Random Act of Kindness book and seeing the movie Pay It Forward a solid 15+ years ago. But over the weekend I decided to rewatch the movie when I saw it on Netflix (yay!) and am feeling totally reinspired to make a difference in lives. Even the smallest of actions or words can make such a huge impact on people. Think about it. If someone gives you a compliment or smiles at you, doesn’t it really help to brighten your mood a bit?
Over the next month, I’m going to do three random acts of kindness for strangers, and I challenge you to do the same! Not sure where to start? Here are a few simple ways to pay it forward.
- Pay for the coffee of the car/person behind you in line.
- Smile and say “hello” to people you walk past.
- Leave a bigger tip for your waiter when dining out.
- Give up your seat for someone who could use it more on the subway/bus.
- Drop some change in parking meters for people who are running low on time.
- Spend an afternoon volunteering at a local charity.
- Compliment someone on their outfit, hair, talent, etc.
- Let someone with less items than you go first in the grocery line.
- Bring baked goods into the office to surprise your colleagues.
- Leave encouraging notes in random places (e.g. in the middle of a book, on a shelf).
- Give your leftovers to a homeless person when driving home from a restaurant.
- Share your umbrella with someone who doesn’t have one when it’s raining.
- Hold the door/elevator for the person walking up behind you.
- Make care packages for an organization (e.g. military, cancer patients)
- Ask someone how their day’s going and really listen.
Have you ever done a random act of kindness? I’d love to hear your story!