Pay It Forward


Pay It Forward

doing something good for somebody just because

We all have heard the expression “Pay It Forward”, but how many of us have been consciously aware of doing it or receiving it …or both? In light of all the craziness that’s going on in the world, I thought it would be refreshing to focus on something positive, non-political, non-partisan, and non-fattening!


Pay it Forward is just what it sounds like—doing something good for somebody just because…and hopefully that somebody will then do something good for someone else, and so on, a payer/payee relay. Usually it’s spontaneous and without expectations, catching the “payee” completely off guard, which adds to the fun.

The gesture doesn’t have to be expensive or grand, just sincere, although billionaire Robert Smith’s announcement to the graduating seniors at Morehouse College that he would pay off all their student loans, did set the Pay It Forward bar a wee bit high at $40 million dollars!


But I digress. In the real world, you could Pay it Forward by simply complimenting someone them on their jacket or hair as they’re hurrying to TJ’s in Golden Cove, or sharing a batch of home-made cookies to strangers picnicking in Hesse Park. (It’s OK to save some for yourself. The Pay It Forward gods are forgiving).


Last week at Ralph’s, my friend was going through the checkout line. As she pulled out her wallet to pay, the gentleman behind her said to the cashier, “I’m taking care of her bill.” My friend was dumbfounded and thought the gentleman mad. As she turned and stuttered, “Thank you”, the gentleman just smiled and actually said, “Pay it Forward!” (Good kind gentleman, if you’re reading this, please let me know the next time you’re going to Ralph’s! 😊)



So, I’m throwing out the challenge to all you residents living on this breathtaking peninsula we call Palos Verdes: Tomorrow, Pay It Forward to someone who’s least expecting it, and see how good it makes you, and them, feel. But beware, it’s contagious. We may all be smiling at each other by the end of the day…wouldn’t that be nice!!

Barbara Hart is a Grammy nominated song writer, children’s author, musical children's book author.

Barbara can be contacted here