Pay it forward. By now we’ve all seen the movie and have read countless pay it forward lists that people have written over the years. There have been some chains popping up on Facebook over the past few weeks that advocate spreading the goodness in the New Year, and I could not help but think of some of the top things that you can give to someone you know – or a complete stranger. I’ve compiled a list that brings in some oldies, but with a flair for this day and age. Do all of these, and you’ll be much happier for it.
1) Retweet a stranger – One of the easiest things on the list, but also one of the most powerful if done right (and not creepily). There are millions of people just waiting to give their views out there on Twitter, and a retweet shows that not only people are listening, they care.
2) Give blood – With the arrival of winter and the recent Hurricane Sandy, there is a blood shortage through much of the United States. There has never been a better time to give blood, and unlike most of the items on this list, you might literally save a life.
3) Make a mortgage payment for a stranger – Hear me out of this. There are so many out there living paycheck to paycheck, and with the biggest expense typically being a house (rent) payment, the impact of this could last all year! Best yet, not all mortgages are thousands of dollars – a few hundred could turn someone’s world around.
4) Buy school supplies for a child – Children are our future, and it’s a shame that so many don’t have the standard supplies that so many of us take for granted. Buy some pens, pencils, paper, glue, tape, and a nice backpack and find a kid who will really appreciate it.
5) Pay for a coffee – Hopefully everyone reading this saw the recent article over OVER 200 PEOPLE paying for the food/drink behind them at a Tim Horton’s in Canada. It lasted over 3 hours and really could set an example for the rest of us. There have also been many stories recently of people springing for the coffee of random strangers. You never know what that stranger will in turn do for someone else all because of you.
6) Extreme Couponer? Give away what you don’t need – If everyone saw this article on couponing they know how cheap you can get so many groceries and household items. The thing is, there are a lot of items that you will never use and will sit in your closet for years. How many tubes of toothpaste can one person have before it’s considered ridiculous? Give away your extra items to a food bank and you’ll be assured that someone needier than you will put those free items to good use.
7) Hold the door for the person behind you – Ok, this is very cliché. However, it’s the ultimate act of kindness and can really brighten up someone’s day. You never know how they will reciprocate the goodness
8) Compliment one of your friend’s photos on Facebook – So you don’t want to see 100’s of pictures of your friend’s baby every week or your cousin’s new haircut. What’s so wrong with sending a compliment their way, even if you don’t completely agree with it? You’ll make them feel great about themselves, like you more, and it’s SUCH an easy thing to do!
9) Let someone else win – You’re the best player in Scramble with Friends. You know it, your friends know it, yet they continue to play you with some ill-conceived hope that they’ll pull off a major upset. This could go for a variety of different games, but the point is, it does not hurt to let someone else win once in a while – it’ll make their day and at the very least they’ll play with you more!
10) Pick up the phone – In this day and age it’s all about the virtual conversations. This leaves out quite a bit of our population, most notably our older generation. One of the best things you can give someone is your time and undivided attention, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give give give!
What are your thoughts on this list and what we might have left out? Who will complete this good deed checklist in 2013?