Almost 20 years ago, there was a movie called, Pay It Forward. The movie chronicles how a 12 year old young man is given an assignment to think of a way to change the world and put it into action.
The result was the launch of a goodwill movement known as “pay it forward” in which people did acts of charity for random people in anticipation of their someday receiving charitable acts from others themselves.
The idea of “paying it forward” is a great way to look at the the process of working to grow in daily virtue. Because the work you do today eventually gets returned to you in an even greater way.
St Therese of Lisieux gives us the perfect attitude and outlook to have in our daily lives:
“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”
When we do all things out of love, then we are sharing love with others, and this is the essence of what paying it forward is all about.
But an even greater benefit is that as we share love through our words and actions, we are then filled with even more love, and then as we increase in that love, we are transformed into the very love we are sharing.
And that is what virtue is. Growing in love, becoming love, and sharing love.
And when we change for the better, the world changes for the better, too.
So, how are you going to pay it forward today?