When you give back, you hope it gets paid forward.
I had an idea a couple of weeks ago I thought would be great to test during the Holiday season. It’s an experiment in giving back and then paying it forward. The Holiday season fosters good will and nothing feels better then to selflessly give to those who need assistance. I thought long and hard about my own giving over the last 11 months in 2011. One of the best ways that I gave back was to mentor colleagues and students in different ways, from answering questions through email and informal telephone interviews to advice via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and reviewing resumes.
I enjoy helping my peers, and giving back is the one thing we can all do to increase the learning in our own communities. I know so many colleagues who are willing to help others and they do it with a smile. I’m really proud of the communities and the bonds we are building together. But, what I’m focusing on in my Holiday experiment is the “thank you” part. So many people will sincerely thank me and say, “If I can ever do anything for you, please let me know.” In other cases, I’ve received cards, gifts, magazines, and books (of course, always from the goodness of the person’s heart, as I would never expect this type of elaborate thank you).
However, what would you think if I said, “You can thank me by paying it forward?” Or, what if I pointed you in a direction to help people who are less fortunate? My experiment over the next few months, in the spirit of Holiday giving, is to tell all of my PR and marketing friends that I’m happy to assist, but now I need you to pay it forward to someone who needs help. I would love to see the “thank you” go toward the purchase of a $5.00 #BlueKey to support the USA for UNHCR effort to help over 40 million displaced refugees worldwide. Perhaps your thank you to me could be to purchase a small gift for a young child or for you to make a donation to Tweet Drive 2011 or #TeamMeg. You may have a favorite charity of your own to support, and when you mentor a peer, you will want him/her to pay it forward to your organization of choice. My Holiday wish is for every “thank you” to be paid forward to someone else.
It’s the Holidays and I hope my experiment will spread more good will to those who truly need our help. So, think about it, will you help to pay it forward?