Pay it Forward Using Technology

Help Others

Image by Keoki Seu via Flickr

This morning I benefitted from someone “passing it on.” My friend Peggy was kind enough to take the time to post a link on Facebook. That link led to a blog post from What a Ride! In this post a woman wrote about how she spent an amazing day helping out others. Best of all, she did it with her kids.

What Does it Mean to Pay it Forward?

Many people are familiar with the concept of Paying it Forward from the “Pay it Forward” novel Catherine Ryan Hyde published in 2000. It later became a popular film created by Warner Brothers.

According to the Central Singapore Community Development Council the definition of Paying it Forward is: … premised on the simple idea of triggering a chain reaction of goodness. An individual does another a favour without expectation of self-gain. Instead he/she requests the recipient of the goodwill to pay it forward to other people. In turn, these other recipients will then pass it on to others. This sets off a chain reaction of goodness as described earlier.

The concept dates back even further than one might imagine. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin  wrote to his friend, Benjamin Webb: I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

How Can We Pay it Forward?

When I think of helping someone, it usually means editing a paper for them or offering tips on children’s media. I am grateful for the fact that my information computer was a conduit today, educating me on different, creative ways to help others with my kids.

It inspired me to think of creative ways we can reach out to help others as a techiefamily.

  1. My composer son can create music that we burn to disc and share with friends – free of charge.
  2. I can use my bread machine to make fresh bread as a thank-you gift for someone we appreciate in our lives.
  3. We can design a book for a shut-in.
  4. We can create a how-to video to share with others who struggle with concepts we understand (ex: tips on long boarding tricks or fixing a common car problem).
  5. We can sell items on Ebay and donate the proceeds to a cause.

That’s just a start. I’ll have to think of some more because helping others is awesome. Thanks for the nudge, Peggy and What a Ride. Now it’s our turn to pass it on.

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