Pay it Forward – Overused Phrase? I don’t think so!

I love November and it is tied to Thanksgiving and being thankful, being around loved ones and feeling warm and fed. Thankful being the key word.

When I saw a note that said “if you left your brand new board here, we have it, call us”, it reminded me when we returned a woman’s purse and how good that made US feel (needless to say the woman!). The fascinating part of that story is that we found the purse on a hiking trail in Carrabassett Valley. When we found the ID in the wallet, it was for a student from the Bahamas. Seriously – what do we do with that? Well, when back at the condo, we searched Facebook for the purse’s owner and I shared one friend with that young woman. What are the chances?  I texted my friend and viola! Purse returned. And, I digress.

November is the ultimate month for paying it forward (now a verb – the entire action of doing something for someone else after someone does something good for you).

We use the phrase liberally – giving to someone else when you don’t expect anything in return or passing along a good deed or surprising someone else with a good deed. Perhaps it’s a stretch from Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight, nearly a century ago. It was brought to current day society through Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacy’s sweet film based on a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde – written and directed by two women, btw. Haley Joel Osment who launches a good-will movement. I hear the phrase more frequently now that social consciousness is a school yard and coffee shop subject. Maybe the film helped provide momentum for the movement – good stuff!

Overall, we just want to do GOOD. When I think of the camp experience and all the focus we have on helping others, thinking of others, including others, working as a team, giving to others, I feel #camp is all about Pay it Forward. As a camp business, we want to create good feelings, provide great experiences and hope that all the people we connect with do the same for others. #MaineCamps are exponentially doing good with thousands of campers and staff every summer and those campers and adults are going into their home communities and doing GOOD there. 

So, greet November with a warm hug – go do something good for someone else with no expectation and see how great you feel. Pay it forward is easy and effective and far from overused.