Have you ever heard of the word altruism? It hovers around the idea of someone caring deeply about others in a way that is not selfish or self-serving at all. If someone were to perform a random act of kindness towards you today, you could say that that person was being altruistic. The idea of taking care of each other is something deeply ingrained in humans.  Over the past 200,000 years, we humans needed each other in order to survive and hopefully thrive. It is this sense of community and connection that makes humans feel safe and more successful. 

So if you happen to be a person that goes out of your way for others….maybe you open the door for a stranger and smile…maybe you picked up your mother’s favorite cherry square at the local bakery for her….maybe you messaged a friend something kind….if you do any type of paying-it-forward, you not only make that person’s life a little bit better, but you also make your life better as well. 

The incredible thing about paying-it-forward and finding random ways to bring joy to others is that it becomes more and more natural and comfortable the more you do it.  So if you would like to have a little less stress hormone (cortisol) and a little more endorphins (body’s painkiller) instead, consider paying it forward to someone today and everyday. 

Are there different levels of paying it forward? Absolutely. Are all impactful and positive? They most certainly are. As we venture into the next element of our lesson, please keep in mind that paying it forward does not always involve material items or a price tag. Paying it forward can come in all forms and fashions. Paying it forward does not need a budget!

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