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Writer’s Island: Given a Second Chance? – Pay It Forward

February 23, 2008

I have given much thought to this week’s Writer’s Island prompt of “Second Chance.” My mind immediately thought of three different events in my life where I received a second chance to make up for something, do something over, or to even live another day. As I pondered how I wanted to appoach this prompt, it came to me that in each of my second chances, I did not have the opportunity to adequately express my gratefullness by paying the person back for giving me the second chance. I only was able to say a very sincere thank you. Then it occurred to me that each of these situations did provide an opportunity for me to pay it forward, an idea I have since seen in a movie.

pay-it-forward.jpgI watched this very heartwarming, and at some points heartbreaking, movie several months ago. The movie was based on a book of fiction by the same name written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Reuben St. Clair, the teacher in the book and movie, issues a voluntary, extra-credit assignment to his class: Think of an idea for World Change, and put it into action. Trevor, the 12-year-old hero of the book, came up with the idea to do something “real good” for three people and when they ask how they can repay you, you just say “Pay it Forward” by doing something real good for three other people. With his calculator he figured his helping three people would lead to nine more people receiving help, which would lead to 27, then 81, to 243, to 729, 2,187, 6,561, etc.. “See how big this gets?” was his vision for affecting world change. The book and movie goes on to show the affects of the changes that takes place from this very simple idea. Definitely a must see movie, but I will forewarn you, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride.

Since the publishing of the book, and with much help from the movie, this work of fiction has become a true movement in America (there is even a website!), and probably beyond the ocean. And now it has reached what I call Blogsville (you can tell I’m a small town girl). Greatfullivin has responded to the Pay It Forward movement that has been posted on many other blogs. I have eagerly agreed to be a part of this movement. For the Blogsville version of Pay It Forward to continue, I need three of my readers to agree to three basic rules:

  1. Email me your snail mail address, so I can send you a small token gift of friendship.
  2. Write a post linking back to my blog.
  3. Be willing to pay it forward, by posting a blog about Pay It Forward, and sending out three gifts of your own.

The gifts you send need not be expensive, something from the heart that best represents who you are will go along way in promoting the spirit of the Pay It Forward movement.  According to the rules, we have 365 days to send our gifts out, but I will send mine on March 21 in honor of a second chance that I was given to me a year ago.  I will post the names of the three people I am Paying It Forward to in my March 21st blog.

I will admit the Blogsville version of Pay It Forward does not appear to be as world-changing as the idea promoted by the book and movie (and a song, and a commercial), but one never knows. Paying it forward is the best way to pay back a second chance given to you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~

For more muses on “Second Chance”, be sure to visit:

~ paisley ~ lissa ~ jeques ~ Gemma Wiseman ~ Selma in the City ~

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2008 6:59 pm

    well i think this is a lovely idea.. and i am sure that there will be many who are anxious to take you up on it… i have seen something going around about buying each other books and things like that too.. this is a very wonderful idea …

    ~ Thank you for visiting Paisley. I have not heard about the book exchange.

  2. February 23, 2008 7:22 pm

    I have heard many times about this and yes it is a good idea. I participate in BAFAB which is like pay it forward. Here’s the link if you’re interest –

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ~ Thank you for visiting Lissa, and thank you for the information. I will check it out.

  3. February 24, 2008 4:47 am

    Paying forward, I always believe this principle and in my own little way have tried to change the world by just doing it. ‘Tis great to read something I am so passionate about in your post, I know this act of kindness will multiply a million folds, and perhaps, well perhaps we could indeed change the world.

    Kindness, pass it on; accept it, and pay it forward.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    ~ Thank you Jeques for visiting this morning. And I do agree that perhaps we could change the world if all would pay it forward.

  4. February 24, 2008 5:07 am

    This is so lovely! It is always such a wonderful feeling to give! That is one of my reasons for blogging! I hope not just be all about self, but maybe, in some small way, I can touch others. Hope, inspiration, strength, all those things. I am battling and I think others sense that, empathise! But there is strength in numbers. I have always believed that!

    Big sighhhhhhhh

    Smiles and Light

    ~ I also receive such joy from giving to others. There is no greater armour to ready for a battle than love. If we do something in love, then everyone wins. Thank you for visiting. I do appreciate your time and comments.

  5. February 24, 2008 5:21 am

    It’s a lovely idea. You are lovely. How thoughtful.

    ~ Thank you so much for the visit and kind words!

  6. February 24, 2008 7:41 am

    That’s a great take on the prompt! I do my best to pay things forward, be it books I receive because someone felt like sending me one or small things, like stopping so someone walking through a parking lot can cross in front of me.

    We all do what we can, ya know?

    ~ Yes, you are so right – it is the little things of kindness or respect we do throughout the day that can change the world.

  7. February 24, 2008 6:44 pm

    Excellent post! Paying it Forward is a wonderful plan –

  8. February 25, 2008 4:25 am

    Just thinking about Pay it Forward makes me cry- the movie and the idea! It is nice to be reminded.

  9. February 25, 2008 11:09 am

    A great idea.

  10. February 27, 2008 6:19 pm

    paying it forward…the movie was awesome and had a lot going on that made the forward movement all the more touching for someone so young… i agree each person we have contact with pay it forward at every opportunity…yes , it wa jeques…kindness….even more that it would make it past the big screen and become a reality…i did not know…

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