Pay it Forward By Susan Jane Smith

Susan Jane Smith
          The last day of July saw me posting “Pay it Forward” on as a discussion item because I am curious.  What do you think this phrase means?  What do you do to “pay it forward”?
        In April people from Goodreads entered a competition to win 3 copies of my book Emotional Health for EmotionalWealth. The response was overwhelming for me and I had to stick to sending off just 3 of the paperbacks due to the cost of postage.
          Now, in order to “pay it forward” I’ve just sent all the other entrants a free e-book copy and told them about the free app on my revised website so that they can read e-books on their computers, phones, iPads etc.  Praise for the book, and great reviews, would be lovely especially if they lead on to mega sales!  No expectations, but lots of hope!
          “Pay it forward” is a phrase that keeps getting my attention, and so far I have not come across any explanations about it - have you?
          For me it seems like a spiritual practice of giving in advance of getting.  Presumably you must be willing to give without strings - a bit like unconditional love.
          Sadly, unconditional love is actually quite rare.  People tend to say the words “I love you” when they want sex, appreciation, validation or something else back.  I am not saintly enough to “pay it forward” without crossing my fingers that I might get some more book sales, particularly of Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth, as I believe it can improve people’s lives.
          So, if you would be willing to read it, write a review and publish that review somewhere (I already have plenty on my website) then I would be happy to share a free e-book copy with you.


Dan Holloway said…
I first came across the phrase through the film of the same name (with Haley Joel Osment and Kevin Spacey I think). I think you're right that there it involves giving before getting but for me the getting part needs to be removed altogether. I recently interviewed the artist Trevor Barton ( and one of the things we talked about was an economy based entirely on generosity not acquisition - outflowing not inflowing
Lee said…
The meaning is a bit more specific, Dan: it does mean giving, but in the sense of giving on to someone else (giving 'forward')) rather than paying someone back for what they've given you - not limited to money, of course.

Having finished my work for the day - a paltry few sentences, alas! - I'm going to have a look at that Barton interview of yours right now. Sounds interesting.
Dan Holloway said…
Ah, yes, that's it. A great way to keep the giving going continually rather than closing the circle each time
madwippitt said…
I first heard of it in that film too: I think it's a lovely idea.

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