So, today is “Pay It Forward Day.” Have you heard of it before? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen mentions of this day over the last few years, especially on social media. (Of course, I don’t know if Hallmark makes cards for it yet!) But if you hadn’t heard, Pay It Forward Day, which is celebrated each year on April 28, is a global initiative (not associated with any organization or foundation) that exists to make a difference by creating a ripple of kindness felt across the world. The main idea behind this day is if you do something nice for another person, he or she will be inspired to pay that kindness forward to someone else. And then that next person will perpetuate the good by doing more good things for another and so on and so forth!
Pay It Forward Day supposedly got its start in 2007 in Australia. And I’ve heard that upwards of 80 countries now participate (with tens of millions of random acts of kindness occurring through the last 22 years!). But perhaps 2020 is the best year (and with a global pandemic, it’s likely the most appropriate environment) for us all to be reminded of how even the simplest acts of goodness, kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way and are greatly appreciated.
Want to Participate?
If you would like to play a part in this celebrated time for random acts of kindness, it’s easy. Pay attention to what’s happening all around you and step in somewhere to brighten someone’s day — not expecting anything in return, mind you, but simply out of the goodness of your heart.
Need Some Ideas?
I’m sure you can come up with a list of nice things to do for others on your own. But if you want some ideas to get you going in the right direction, here are just a few:
- Pay for someone’s coffee or meal.
- Take someone to the shooting range.
- Be a mentor to a new gun owner.
- Clean a loved one’s firearms for him or her.
- Make a donation to a cause, even if you’ve already been charitable this year. (There are a lot of organizations fighting for gun rights!)
- Reach out and tell someone how much he or she means to you. (Why not let a firearms instructor or training counselor know that he or she made a difference in your life!?!)
- Maybe you can even share some of the toilet paper or paper towels you stowed away at the beginning of the stay-at-home mandates!
All in all, for gun owners, this Pay it Forward Day could be a perfect opportunity to not only do something kind and thoughtful but also invest in the future of the Second Amendment. How? You can get someone new involved with safe and responsible firearms! By offering time, effort and energy to guide and help those who are brand new to the world of shooting, we can ensure we have more folks supporting our efforts and standing firm for our right to protect what we love. And that’s some of the best paying it forward that I can imagine!
So let’s use today as a perfect way to start the habit of putting others first … and putting some more good out there into the world. Pay It Forward Day is a great reminder that we should be engaging in this behavior — and engaging new gun owners — every day.
About Beth Alcazar
Beth Alcazar, author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has enjoyed nearly two decades of working and teaching in the firearms industry. Beth is passionate about safe and responsible firearms use and enthusiastic about teaching others. She is certified as an instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.