If you can’t pay it back, pay it forward.” — Catherine Ryan Hyde
The first time I heard the phrase “pay it forward” I pondered and wondered what the phrase meant. I was on my way to school one morning when I noticed I had forgotten my purse at home.
The purse contained all the money I needed for the day: including money for food and transportation. I frantically looked for the purse in my school bag but, I couldn’t find it. I was more worried about the embarrassment I was about to receive from the mate than going hungry.
My heart skipped many beats as I wondered how I was going to pay my transport fare to the mate. It eventually got to my turn to pay and as expected, the mate was not prepared to listen to anything I had to say.
I stammered while I tried to explain my predicament to him but, he didn’t believe me. He shouted himself hoarse, aggressively asking for his money. Finally, an older woman sitting next to me slipped me a ten cedi note to pay the fare.
The money she gave was far more than I needed. Thus, I decided to give her back the change. She shook her head and pushed the money back to me.
I thanked her profusely and she responded by asking me to pay it forward anytime I get the chance. I was curious about what she had said and I asked her to explain what she meant. She told me, it means to respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else.
I was blown away by her explanation, hence, I decided to always pay it forward anytime I get the opportunity.