Pay all the good deeds you’ve ever received forward on Global Pay It Forward Day, celebrated annually on April 28. 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.
History of Global Pay It Forward Day
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. It is now celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide, to create a global change caused by spreading kindness and also to reach over 10 million acts of kindness around the world. It is celebrated annually on April 28.
Global Pay It Forward Day timeline
The phrase “pay it forward” in regards to kindness appears in Lily Hardy Hammond’s book, “In the Garden of Delight.”
The novel “Pay It Forward” written by Catherine Ryan Hyde is published by Pocket Books.
Global Pay It Forward Day is created by Blake Beattie.
The United States officially starts observing Global Pay It Forward Day.
Global Pay It Forward Day FAQs
Does pay it forward only apply to acts of kindness?
The concept of paying it forward does not only apply to acts of kindness, although that is the most popular related topic. Paying it forward also applies to money and financial services like the contract law of loans in the concept of third-party beneficiaries.
What is the movie “Pay It Forward” about?
“Pay It Forward” is a movie adaptation of the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde with the same title. It was set in Las Vegas and has 11-year-old Trevor McKinney as its main character. McKinney is given a school assignment, and he comes up with an idea that impacts many lives for the better. The major factor that caused this impact was his decision to pay forward a good deed to three people rather than return a favor.
What’s the symbol for Global Pay It Forward Day?
Global Pay It Forward Day does not have an official symbol, however, participants often pledge their allegiance to the cause by drawing or coloring a symbol of a heart on their palm. Pictures of this symbol can be shared across social media to raise awareness and stand in solidarity with the cause.
Global Pay It Forward Day Activities
Perform a random act of kindness
Global Pay It Forward Day is all about spreading the kindness someone else shows to you. Participants are encouraged to perform one to three random acts of kindness to spark or continue the chain reaction. Need some ideas? Start by paying for someone’s coffee or food, or picking up the toll fee of the stranger driving behind you at the gate.
Give a random compliment
This day is all about spreading kindness, in the smallest ways possible. One of the most thoughtful ways to do this is by paying someone random a compliment. Receiving a random, thoughtful compliment can go a long way to changing a person’s entire mood and putting a smile on their face.
Sign up for volunteer work
One of the most selfless things a person can do is volunteer to help somewhere and not receive payment. This also gives the receivers of such kindness no other option than to pay your kindness forward. Take out some time today to volunteer at your local community center or shelters.
5 Interesting Facts About “Pay It Forward”
Hayley Joel Osment’s dad featured
The mustachioed cop giving directions in one of the scenes is Eugene Osment, Osment, who plays Trevor’s dad and acting coach.
The teacher could have been someone else
Just as the book describes, the role of the teacher was first offered to Denzel Washington but was eventually given to Kevin Spacey with adjustments to the plot.
Another real-life family featured
The jaguar owner is the director, Mimi Leder's husband, and his asthmatic daughter is played by their daughter Hannah Leder.
The birthday scene wasn’t a hoax
Osment celebrated his 12th birthday on the last day of filming, and this was also captured in the movie.
It produced a first-time Oscar winner
Spacey won his first Oscar award for ‘Best Actor’ because of this project.
Why We Love Global Pay It Forward Day
Kindness is the key
Imagine the global change that could happen if we are all just a little bit kinder to each other. We love this day because it encourages everyone to be a bit kinder to people we do not even know, and this collective effort goes a long way to creating a global impact on humanity.
We can all get involved
There are no limits on Global Pay It Forward Day. This day gets everyone involved because we are all capable of showing kindness. We love a collective effort for a good cause, and this day provides that opportunity.
It encourages selflessness
Another thing to love about Global Pay It Forward Day is that it not only encourages kindness, it also encourages selfless kindness. On this day, we aren’t just motivated to pay back the kindness we receive, we are inspired to pay it forward and do so with a total stranger who will most likely not be able to just pay us back.
Global Pay It Forward Day dates