‘Pay It Forward’ – How Can We Coexist?


'Pay It Forward' – How Can We Coexist? - Wisdom's Webzine

How can humans live well? That has been my biggest question in life. Today there is more and more fighting and wars arising throughout the world. There are so many criminals, child abuse cases, suicides and tragic massacres where innocent lives are lost. It makes me wonder whether this is the only way for humans to live. Is there a better way to live than this? As I was contemplating, I remembered a movie that I watched a long time ago, Pay it Forward. I started to reflect upon this beautiful story, which gave me insight on how to live a better life in this world.

The story of Pay it Forward, a 2000 American drama film, revolves around a young boy, Trevor Mckinney. Trevor was living in a world with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father. Basically, Trevor’s life was sad and doomed. One day he got an assignment from his social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet who had severe facial and body scars from a fire accident. The assignment was to think of something to change the world and then put that plan into action.

Trevor came up with the idea of helping three people who in turn would have to repay the favor by helping or doing good deeds for three new people. This concept created an exponentially growing charitable process. With this idea, Trevor helped his social studies teacher overcome his own fears and self consciousness, which allowed Mr. Simonet to develop a fruitful relationship with Trevor’s mom. The idea of ‘Pay it Forward’ not only helped Jerry who was homeless and addicted to drugs to overcome those circumstances but also saved Trevor’s friend from being bullied. After receiving Trevor’s help, he helped others and made sure that those people ‘Paid it Forward’ to three new people.

Once Mr. Simonet realized how amazing Trevor’s idea was and its great potential to influence the world, he interviewed Trevor. Soon after completing the interview, Trevor tragically died while saving his friend from bullies. His mother and teacher didn’t know the extent to which Trevor’s action of ‘Paying it Forward’ affected people. However, they watched the news report and learned that the ‘Pay it Forward’ movement had spread nationwide. They came outside of the house and saw hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to Trevor. The scene at the end of the movie shows a stream of vehicles heading towards the house.

After I watched the movie, I was very sad bout Trevor’s death but at the same time I was touched by what Trevor left in this world as a little boy. This powerful concept teaches us how we should all live together in order to coexist. As the universe endlessly gives without asking anything in return, this movie shows us how to live like nature by ‘giving’. I hope one day people in this world will understand this small yet significant lesson that Trevor taught us and will put it in to action. Then this world will be a truly joyful place to live and we can truly coexist  like nature.