Paying it Forward

What exactly is paying it forward? Does it involve grabbing your wallet and forking out the cash? Not necessarily. Paying it forward is all about giving a hand to those in need. Admittedly, many of us take a lot of things for granted when in reality, most people don’t have the privilege of enjoying those luxuries. What might not seem valuable to you may very well be worth its weight in gold to others. Below, I’ve listed a couple of ways I’ve recently paid it forward in order for you to get an idea of what it truly entails.

Without a doubt, I’m really big on dog rescues. I’ve been around dogs for the majority of my life and therefore, I’m a little biased towards dogs – can you blame me? Countless dogs are abused and/or abandoned by their “owners” for no apparent reason. In December 2012, I came across a stray dog at the parking lot at my workplace. Assuming he was hungry and thirsty, I gave him some food and water. He ate the food and drank the water within seconds. Long story short, I ended up taking the dog to a local pet clinic where they inspected his health and took great care of him. The employees at the pet clinic named him “Sammy” and for some reason, it was a very fitting name. Sammy was a sweetheart – he was very playful and joyful. About a month after the rescue, Sammy was adopted by an elderly couple. I’m glad he was able to find a home. I’ve attached a “before and after” photo of Sammy and another photo of him with his new owners.

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Many children take their parents for granted. They also take their possessions for granted and that’s why you see a lot of young children with the latest tech gear at a very young age – most likely due to peer pressure. Perhaps, they saw their friends carry these devices at school and felt left out. As a result, they demanded their parents to provide them with the same devices as their friends so they can “fit in”.. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that many kids their age don’t know who their parents are. Also, there are many children who don’t have toys. I took it upon myself to narrow that gap by a tiny margin, as I donated about 50 new toys to needy children. I dropped off the toys at a local LAPD station – where they were having a toy drive – and with the help of my donation, the female officer noticed that the total number of toys had more than doubled. She was speechless and thanked me for my donation as I walked out. It was a great feeling, to say the least.

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I’m sure you’re asking yourself the following question: does a connection between entrepreneurship and good deeds exist? You bet! Believe it or not but companies, regardless of size, have been giving back to their communities for quite some time now. When you think about it, it makes sense because they’re killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Not only are they creating opportunities through the investments into their communities but they’re also strengthening their public image. Consumers are more likely to give their hard-earned working dollars to the companies who maintain a reputation of giving back to their communities than the companies that don’t. Some people may consider this as a marketing scheme but at least one individual is benefiting from the companies’ goodwill.

Paying it forward comes from your heart, not from your wallet – it’s an act of kindness, not an obligation. Whether you pay for someone’s groceries or tutor a student that’s falling behind in Math class, you’re paying it forward. The best part about paying it forward is that it’s contagious – the person you help will mostly return the favor to someone else and it will become an ongoing trend.