When I saw the film “Pay it Forward”, I don’t think I’ve ever been touched by something so positive and tragic at the same time. It changed my perspective in life and kind of compared it to how the Pinoy culture is. Let’s start with the whole concept of paying it forward as explained by the character in the movie:

Basically it’s Multi-level marketing but in terms of favors and kindness. It’s pretty amazing as a concept and very inspirational. If this gets pulled off somehow, then there is hope for the human race.

Pinoys, as a culture understand the concept of paying it back and we even have the tradition of “utang na loob” where we always pay our debt and we always keep our word. I dunno nga lang kung applicable pa rin yan ngayon. Sana nga buhay pa sya kasi it’s such a very nice trait and quality to have.

Pero imagine if we could just pay it forward, kahit minsan lang, di ba? I recently met a woman during one of the auditions I went to and I bought her coffee and some smokes. She insisted on paying me back and I said “Why don’t you pay it forward? Someone bought me coffee and smokes for me before when I really needed it but couldn’t get some by myself and I thought it’s about time I pay that person back by paying it forward, in this case, you. Pay me back by doing the same thing to someone else. It doesn’t have to be coffee and smokes – maybe a cold drink and a sandwich, up to you.” She looked at me oddly for a second and then she smiled and nodded. “That actually makes a lot of sense. I shall tell people about that.” For a moment, I kinda felt like a prophet/preacher “This is the word of Ian! Spread it like peanut butter on bread!!”

I also read this article about asking for and giving help on this website. It’s an interesting read on expectations and actuality. Paano ka nga naman tutulungan kung di mo naman hiningi? You have to ask for help in order to get help. If you don’t ask, how would they know you needed it?

The point I’m trying to make is this: You want to change the world? Start with yourself. You need to show people that you’re willing to make a change by being the first one to help out. Be the catalyst. Be the leader. I now understand the songs John Lennon wrote. I now understand that Billy Joel song.