There’s a huge problem with today’s society. Most of us only give something when we are going to get something in return. Being a business student, this is how I’m taught to operate. If I’m spending my time or money on something, I better be getting a return on investment!
Now don’t get me wrong, I try and do my fair share of volunteering and donating (when there is some charity being sponsored at a store, sure I’ll throw a dollar to them at the cash register. Don’t hate… that’s all I can afford as a struggling college kid). But the point is, we as a society, don’t participate in enough selfless actions. If you donate, you get a tax break. If you volunteer, it’s probably because you have to for some organization (or community service you were sentenced to for that one thing you did that one time). I’m not saying any of this is bad, but we should stop doing things just for the sake of getting some sort of benefit.
I have always been a huge advocate of paying it forward, but recently I decided I didn’t like that term. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you may have noticed I like changing/making up words, so why not change the phrase? When you “pay” for something, it indicates that you will get something in return. I think if we all “donated it forward,” the world might be a better place.
But what, you ask, is this “it” nonsense that we are donating?! It can be anything! Maybe today you decide to smile at a complete stranger (make it a friendly smile not a creepy one okay?). Well maybe, just maybe, you brightened their whole day, and they will smile at someone they don’t know tomorrow. Donating doesn’t have to be monetary. You can offer a variety of things to someone or something including time, advice, a shoulder to cry on, a warm meal to a homeless shelter, or even a smile to a stranger.
The smallest things can often make the largest difference. What are you going to do to donate it forward? Leave a comment with your ideas!
“Sail beyond the horizon; fly higher than you ever thought possible; magnify your existence by helping others; be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes; be true to what you value most; shine your light on the world; and be the person you were born to be.” -Blake Beattie