Help and support are not a game of “tit for tat”. In game theory, tit for tat is the strategy of reciprocity. It means that you start with a friendly move and then copy the last move of the other player from here on out.
In life, this means that you are doingde the friend a favour that has granted you one. You give a present to people who have gifted you before.
On the downside, this calculative approach turns a creative and intuitive process into a stiff mechanism. Enter: Paying it forward.
Pay it forward is when the beneficiary of a good deed is repaying the kindness to others instead of to the original benefactor.
Don’t get confused by the term “paying”. This is not about finances. This is about building good karma and positive impact through support. Paying it forward is helpful because it allows you to…
- Support those that need your help in this very moment.
- Be supported by kind and generous friends.
- Get creative with how you support people in their love language.
Paying it forward is emotional, creative and – fun.
Step 1: Make a list of support that you received.
When going to Burning Man for the first time in 2018, I could have never afforded an RV. Last-minute rentals can be as high as 10k $ for the 10 days of the event. In the spirit of the gifting economy of Burning Man, my friend Nate let me stay with him – and at the same time totally changed my mind about gifting, receiving and showing up for each other.
Now, it is your turn, start by making list with all the times that someone was generous with you. Write down the big and the small things. You want to open your eyes to all the beautiful gifts that you have received.
Step 2: Start supporting people.
Now that you can see how full your cup is, start paying it forward. Give favours, gifts, compliments and support to those that need it. And enjoy the sense of community that paying it forward builds.