Is it possible for one idea to change the world?
How about one movie?
“Pay it Forward” (released in 2000, and undoubtedly one of the best movies ever made) is about 12-year-old Trevor McKinney, who believed in the goodness of human nature. Like many other kids, he was determined to change the world for the better. Unlike most other kids, he succeeded.
His idea? To perform three random acts of kindness.
#1 It has to be something that really helps people.
#2 Something they can’t do by themselves.
#3 You do it for them, they do it for three other people.
I’ve noticed on countless occasions that the phrase “pay it forward” is still used. I’ve also noticed that it is used in the context “intended” in the movie. I have to wonder how many other people use/hear/or act upon the phrase “pay it forward”, and consider what it really means, and where it came from? Tonight, I even saw it used on “Oprah’s Big Give”, when a player went to an automotive shop, and paid $500 toward the expenses of the next 20 people to come into the shop for repairs, and the guy behind the counter was so blown away by the act of generosity, that he said he would “pay it forward” the next day, and cover any repairs that came in that day. Do you think he was thinking about that movie at that moment? Probably not.
The point is, if there were ever to be an award given to a movie that has made a real impact on society, I think “Pay It Forward” would have to come away with top honors. The one little catchphrase is so ingrained in the minds of the masses, that most people would be caught off guard if you asked where it came from, or what the storyline was behind it. Yet, tonight, there it was, just as I’ve seen/heard it a thousand times or more since the movie came out. Best of all…. people are DOING IT!
I have aspired to “pay it forward” any and every chance I get. Not because I’m looking for anything in return, but simply because I, like the character Trevor McKinney, still believe in the goodness of human nature. To me, it’s simply the right thing to do.
How about you? Do you ever “Pay It Forward”?
Don’t you think you should?