This I Believe

Lindsey - laconia, New Hampshire
Entered on December 13, 2007

This I Believe

Was there ever a time in your life that you went hungry because you didn’t have any money at work or school? Believe it or not, there are people that feel like that every day. You might notice it, and choose to ignore it, or you might make a difference in someone’s day by giving them a little money, or sharing your lunch. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day brighter, but if you try to help at least one person each day, it might, in turn, make the world a better place.

A few years ago, a little girl named Rachel wrote an essay similar to this one about a concept she called “paying it forward.”Paying it forward is the idea that if one person does something nice for three people, those three people will do something nice for three more people, etc. This essay turned into a challenge- Rachel’s Challenge. There are many supporters of Rachel’s challenge; a movie was made called “pay it forward” and there’s even a group on Facebook.com devoted to it. Everyone who believes in paying it forward believes that the world can be a better place.

One thing that needs to be understood is that paying it forward doesn’t have to be a big thing. Of course, in the movie they showed a man who was in need, so another man gave him his car, but most of the time you don’t really have to go far out of your way to be nice. All it takes is a little thought and consideration. It’s like doing someone a favor that you don’t expect to be returned, just passed on. There are plenty of examples I can think of, such as: buying someone something to eat, giving them a little money, helping a stranger jump start their car, etc. I think it can even be as little as giving someone a compliment, or listening to their problems.

I think the main idea about paying it forward, to me, is brightening someone’s day. It doesn’t matter how you do it, or what you do, but that you took the time out of your day to care. Everyone has bad days, but if you notice that they are, and you do something about it, they might help someone else have a better day, instead of potentially making it worse. Every day should be a good day, and I hope that with paying it forward we can almost eliminate every bad day.

This isn’t a very complex subject, and it isn’t very time consuming. All it takes is an open mind and an open heart. If there is one think that you take away from this concept of paying it forward is this: “paying it forward is better than paying it back.”