The idea, the concept and the practical application of paying it forward it easy. There is no wrong way to do it. It can be as simple as holding a door open for someone or it can be buying someone’s coffee or paying their toll.
It doesn’t need to cost money and it doesn’t need to take a bunch of time.
Some of these ideas don’t work for everyone or every location. For example, toll booths are going the way of the Dodo bird, but that doesn’t mean you can pre-pay for a coffee, candy or slice of pizza (as this NPR story shows).
A common term for this is Suspended Coffee (or Pizza or whatever) and there is a whole movement around Suspended too.
How did I get started?
I’ve been posting Pay it Forward and Giveback posts for about 5 years now. Like most people, I have always paid it forward in one way or another. But, on that day 5 years ago I was in my local coffee shop and realized I had no money and had left my wallet at home too. Doh! I had already ordered and I felt a little silly saying … “sorry, I don’t have any money” and just then the person in front of me said … “Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered” and then he added “just pay it forward next time” which got me thinking and tweeting.
Others have asked why only pay it forward on Fridays? What about the rest of the days? The simple answer is you’ve gotta start somewhere.
Truth be told … I’m always on the lookout for ways to pay it forward. Whether it’s helping friends find jobs or just smiling or saying hello … paying it forward is a habit that becomes infectious.
If you are so inclined please feel free to glom onto the Pay It Forward Friday movement or pick a day that works for you. And, welcome to The Movement!
What do I post for PIFF?
I’ve posted the one below more than a few times with slight alterations depending upon the time of the year and what’s happening around the world. I don’t try to make these political. I just want to share the idea that any one, any time can … Pay It Forward.
It’s Pay it Forward Friday – buy the coffee, bring the donuts, hold the door, or just smile. #piff #payitforward
This tweet is 112 characters and is Tweet-Ready (click-to-tweet). Use it if you like it. Or tweak it as you see fit. Or, just smile … it’s that easy.
And, yes, I post this to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
But LinkedIn is for Business you say. Which is true. However, I think the Pay It Forward movement transcends business and personal and becomes just a part of who we are. I will continue to post PIFF messages on LinkedIn. And, if someone doesn’t like ‘em … they can ignore ‘em and get onto whatever they were doing before. However, if just one person smiles and/or pays it forward it’s all worth it.
Why Just Fridays?
I know a lot of people that pay it forward every day. I’m sure you know a lot of people that pay it forward every day too. That’s great. And, if you are already in The Movement, fantastic! Let’s get a few more onboard.
It can happen on Thursday too!
It’s Thanksgiving Week in the USA … What are you Thankful for?
For a lot of the people in the United States they celebrated Thanksgiving this week.
A Fun Tradition: Some people have a tradition of going around the table and asking everyone for just one thing that they’re thankful for.
If this is your tradition that’s great. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments about what kinds of things you, your friends and your family are thankful for this year.
I’m not looking for bare your soul details I’m just curious to hear what kinds of things you’re thankful for. I’m regularly surprised by what some people are thankful for. Oftentimes it’s the little things that seem so inconsequential yet they can have the largest impact. Perhaps someone will be thankful that they were able to pay it forward.
Paying it Forward is Easy
It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember and thanks to the reach of social networks I have been utilizing them to share the PIFF efforts over the last five years. I use the hashtag #PIFF which to me stands for Pay it Forward Friday. If you like it use it. If you want to use the more traditional #payitforward that’s OK too.
Let’s start a movement … and Pay It Forward … on Fridays and any other days that end in y.
And for my friends that celebrate it … Happy Thanksgiving!