Global Pay It Forward Day


By Sharon Schweitzer


If you’ve believed in paying back kindness all your life, allow us to introduce you to a more refined and helpful initiative — paying kindness forward! This day is celebrated in over 80 countries, encouraging us to collectively perform random acts of kindness in a bid to pay forward some of the kindness we may have been shown in the past.

The concept of paying it forward is pretty simple to grasp. Whenever we are shown kindness, this concept encourages us to pay it forward by showing kindness to others, and they are to do the same, and so on, ultimately leading to a selfless ripple of kindness.

This concept has been around way longer than we may think. It is taught in certain principles in the Bible and other religious books and was the key plot element in a 317 B.C. play by Menander called “Dyskolos.” The phrase itself however is seen to have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her book, “In the Garden of Delight,” and was further popularized in Robert Heinlein’s novel “Between Planets.”

Every day we are faced with several opportunities to spread some kindness in the littlest ways, even though we often don’t recognize it. That overwhelmingly warm, happy feeling you get when someone does an unexpected nice thing for you like taking care of a bill or giving you a warm hug, is what we’re encouraged to pay forward to others.

Another vivid example of the paying it forward concept appears in the novel “Pay It Forward” by American novelist Catherine Ryan Hyde. This novel instantly became a best-seller and was adapted into a film in 2000. It’s then no surprise that this book is also the foundation on which Global Pay It Forward Day was established.

International speaker and author Blake Beattie was inspired by Hyde’s book to create this day in 2007. In 2015, it became an official holiday. Every year, millions of people participate by performing random acts of kindness and sharing love with those around them.


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Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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