Thu | Dec 2, 2021

Hello mi neighbour | Paying it forward

Published:Wednesday | March 4, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Hello mi neighbour! Those who live by the ‘paying it forward’ concept can be easily numbered among the most satisfied people in our world. Have fun as you carry out your research and apply its principles to your daily life!

Barring none, no one should deny anyone who stops by for a little help when it’s within one’s power to help.

I say this for three reasons:

1). Our Maker commands us to give to everyone who asks of us.

2). The needy whom we help today may be the one(s) to help us tomorrow, should we become needy.

3). It brightens the lives of giver and receiver – only that the giver’s life becomes a tad brighter than the receiver’s. Remember? “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. Test it.

So let’s take a look at the ‘paying it forward concept: this concept involves performing a kind deed for someone in response to an act of kindness done on your behalf by someone else.

Let’s say, for example, that you were short on cash at the check-out counter or stranded on the highway and kind strangers came to your rescue. What the ‘paying it forward’ concept says is that to compensate for the kind deed done to you is to do a kind deed to another person. Nice. Very nice.

With its long history, this concept was popularised by a 21st-century movie in which a youngster was given a school assignment to find a way to change the world. What he did was remarkable. He developed a ‘pay it forward’ concept and set off a chain reaction of good deeds which changed the entire community.


Kindness always ‘sell off’. Can you imagine the social benefit of many of our youngsters taking a page out of that young man’s book, rather than allowing their minds to become the ‘devil’s playground?’

Let’s help them!

A critical aspect on the ‘paying it forward’ concept to bear in mind is that it must be done with a selfless spirit. No hidden agenda, we should all help one another without hoping for direct compensation.

In fact, there are some “organisations that allow people to pay it forward anonymously, donating money or performing good deeds without hoping for recognition. All that is required of the receiver of the money, gift, or good deed is that he/she does something good for someone else”. Great!

‘Paying it forward’ can take just a few coins and very little effort. Everyone can therefore participate! It could be as simple as holding the door for a neighbour laden with bags, giving up a place in line to someone who appears to be in a hurry, purchasing a patty for hungry person or help to lift up some who has fallen.

These small, yes, simple gestures can make monumental differences in the lives of fellow citizens. Do it and free up the mind!

As you reflect on the above today, try these along the way:

n Be attentive to opportunities to help – they will cross your path.

n Be willing to help complete strangers.

n Give freely without expecting anything in return. If offered, do not accept. Ask them to show kindness to someone else instead.


1. Denise, St Andrew – for offering salon equipment to Caula, Manchester

2. Neighbour – for clothing

3. Latoyer, St Andrew – for donation


1. Leroy, unemployed – badly needs $3,600 for a critical blood test

2. Junior, St Mary – in need of bed linen and curtains

3. Grandmother asking for a barber chair for unemployed grandson

4. Sister Carmen, St Catherine – asking for a stove and radio, size 12 clothing for church.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email: Contact email: Visit Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.