I watched the movie Pay it Forward (2000) last night. I knew there would be tears and smiles, and sometimes it feels good simply to let emotions run their course. At the end of the movie, with tears running down my cheeks, I thought to myself, “why can’t I pay it forward?”

The premise of the movie Pay It Forward is a 7th grade social studies project created by an inspiring teacher, played by Kevin Spacey. One of his students, Kevin, played by Haley Joel Osment, dreamed up the idea to give generously in any way to three other people. Those three then pay it forward by giving generously in their own way to someone else. Giving is the key, as it needs to be a gift or an act that the recipient could not normally fulfill theirself.

When I began to answer my own question, I thought, “how would I possibly do this even once, let alone three times or more? And do I need to receive a gift first?”

That is when I realized that I have already received my gift. I was raised by two generous parents, in conditions void of divorce, alcoholism, mental illness, or poverty. My childhood was protected, positive and wholesome. I am extremely grateful for this gift, knowing how rare it is.

It is time to pay it forward, yet I don’t believe in waiting for the right time with a momentous gesture. I can start with small acts of kindness. Many small acts are those that others couldn’t do themselves. Even the act of giving can’t be done the same way doing it for yourself. I’ve been having a difficult time communicating with my nine-year-old daughter recently. Her actions have frustrated me. However, she is an amazing, creative, bright source of light, and I can find many ways to pay it forward to her. I can tell her she is incredible, and a bright part of my life.

Pay it forward a step at a time

I also believe it is time on earth for a shift in consciousness, which includes a natural inclination to pay it forward. I know many who already give their time and talents to help others prosper, feel well, laugh and take a step up in life.

My gift (or gifts) may or may not feel rare for me, but it might be just the thing someone else needs, coming at just the right time.

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