"Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his 1841 essay Compensation wrote: "In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody."
In 1916, Lily Hardy Hammond wrote, "You don't pay love back; you pay it forward.""*
According to the Urban Dictionary: the phrase means "when someone does a good deed for you, instead of paying them back, pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else."**
When you look at the definition of the phrase, you'll see it has some root in the Golden rule:
“So always; [So in everything]
Do to others what [Treat others as] you want them to do to [treat] you.”***
There are at least 2 lessons to note from this verse and phrase:
- We really don't have any control over how others will (want to or) actually treat us - but we have absolute control over how we treat others.
- We must never treat people the way they (or others) treated us - we should treat them how we want to be treated...hopefully even better than they (or others) treated us.
The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution.****It may seem that you're doing others a favour when you are kind to them or paying it forward, the truth is you are really being kind to yourself and your generations to come...
The Bible is replete with examples of people who benefited from their parents' kindness***** or vice versa. Indeed, kindness is a seed which we must never stop planting, trusting God that our children, grandchildren and further will eat the fruits of those seeds. Stay kind...
*** Matthew 7:12a - Expanded Bible
**** Proverbs 11:17 - Amplified
***** 2 Samuel 9: 1 - David asked, “Is there anyone left in Saul’s family to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (Amplified)