Whilst there is a fair bit of ‘schmaltz’ associated with the concept of ‘paying it forward’, there is also much that can be achieved by embracing the idea.
The Book and movie of ‘Pay It Forward” saw a young boy perform three acts of kindness for others, and they then paid this forward to another three, and they paid it forward to another three….until the world was embraced in acts of kindness!
There is no doubt that doing something of a kind nature, especially when unexpected, for another leaves both the ‘doer’ and the recipient with a positive glow. Sometimes in our busy lives we forget how important it is to complete acts of kindness towards others, even as simple as smiling, or holding a door open. Dr Gary Chapman believes that there are only five basic Love Languages (Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving and Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service) and each person has a ‘primary one’ that affects them deeply; in the case of children, if a parent fails to speak this language adequately, the teen will not feel loved, regardless of other expressions of love. It is a really interesting concept, and I have seen examples of the power of this knowledge work positively in families, and in teacher – student rapport.
“Acts of Service”, through paying it forward, can strike a chord with many children, and empower them to feel they can and do make a difference to others, and assist in the development of respect and empathy for others.
Next week, our Junior School Boys will for the first time be recognising Pay It Forward Day by participating in a number of special events and activities, including paying it forward, anonymously, to another designated member of our Junior School. At the end of the week, the boys will reflect upon the impact of performing acts of kindness, and it is hoped they will gain esteem and insight into the power of positive relationships with others.