Pay It Forward


One of the many things I’ve noticed about London is the lack of consideration for other people at times.

I’m not saying there’s none, or that everyone in London is painfully self involved. I just think that perhaps with so many people constantly crushing on one’s consciousness, those who live here tend to turn into themselves and forget to empathise with the ones they pass by. A defense mechanism, a way to protect what is yours and yours alone. It is easy to feel without putting up walls that the incessant crowds will wash away what’s left of you.

I mean, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised on a bus or on the tube when people stand up for an elderly person or for a pregnant woman. But there are times where I feel a bit dismayed by the lack of any smidgeon of decency, for instance the other day a girl who had broken her leg and was balancing on crutches was left to stand on a London train. Perhaps no one noticed, I don’t know.

You get pushed and shoved, yelled at to hurry up or ignored when you ask for help. I’ve been privy to all of these. Perhaps it’s self preservation on their part. Perhaps it’s time wasting on ours. Or just plain inconvenient for everyone.

I just feel there should always be some time for plain common decency. Once I was taken ill on the tube, and the crowd of people rushed me to the front of the queue for the lift and helped me until I got out of the station. So I’m not trying to say there isn’t kindness to be found here. Not by a long shot. But I think we all let our busy lives get in the way of thinking about those around us.

It all reminded me of a film that I once saw. One that I’m sure some of you are familiar with. Pay It Forward.

I always thought it was a good idea. Perhaps I took it a bit too seriously. I don’t think we should go quite as far as the film did. But how cool would it be to do an actual real life Pay It Forward?

For those that haven’t seen the film, in it a young boy has the idea of doing a big favour for 3 people. Instead of asking for one in return, you ask them to do a favour for 3 more…and then ask each of them, to do a favour for 3 more. And that way it just…spreads.

I don’t know how likely or viable this actually is. I did think that it would be nice if we tried to help people a little more though. Even if it’s just helping them pick up something they dropped in the street. We don’t have to be knights in shining armour or a modern day Mother Theresa to do that.

It’s about helping each other out. Surely it would make things a little nicer for us all? Just a thought.


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