Giving Back & Paying it Forward
What does each of these things mean? Pay it forward is the expression used to describe when the recipient of an action of kindness does a separate act of kindness to or for someone else, instead of simply accepting or repaying the original act of kindness. Giving Back can be defined as volunteering time or donating material goods or money, to another organization, usually a not for profit organization. The concept of paying it forward is more individual centered, meaning one on one. Whereas, giving back is a group or community, centered action. You can also think of these things in relation to how well you know the individual or group. For example, when paying it forward, you are usually acting towards someone you don’t know very well if at all. Conversely, when giving back, you are usually acting in this way because you are familiar or even acquainted with the community or group you’re giving back to. At the LJS June networking event, ideas and examples of individuals and organizations actually paying it forward and giving back were shared. Some cited examples of giving back to the community are: sponsoring sports teams, charity fundraisers, mentoring students, volunteering time at a soup kitchen or other charitable event. Examples of paying it forward could be a business or personal referral, offering extra training outside of regular work hours to interested employees, or purchasing the order of the person behind you in line, or as simple as holding the door open for the next person entering. These actions are important because they allow both individuals and businesses to recognize and appreciate the opportunities they have, while giving thanks to those who have helped them become the people and organizations they are.