In 2000 an amazing film staring a young Haley Joel Ozment, Kevin Spacey, and Helen Hunt debuted in theaters, Pay It Forward. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it; if you have seen it, why not watch it again.
In deference to those who have not yet had the pleasure I won’t go into specifics, but will only quote this from the movie’s synopsis on IMDB:
Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.
I loved this movie and I loved the concept of paying things forward. Recently I’ve seen evidence of the concept reappearing in my own life, there’s an old Clay Walker song that played on the radio the other day, it is a theme in an insurance companies television commercials, and I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about how they “paid it forward”.
Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m too much of an idealist, but if you’re paying it forward isn’t the point to do it quietly and take no credit for yourself but to be humble and thankful that you have the ability to help someone out or brighten their day even when it’s least expected.
Life is precious and time is a key element.
Let’s make every moment count and help those who have a greater need than our own.”