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Spotlight On: Pay it Forward Day

Sail beyond the horizon; fly higher than you ever thought possible; magnify your existence by helping others; be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes; be true to what you value most; shine your light on the world; and be the person you were born to be.” - Blake Beattie

Inspired by the Catherine Ryan Hyde novel “Pay It Forward”, Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) was founded internationally by Blake Beattie and begins by inviting people to do a favor for another person without any expectation of being paid back.  Though formally on April 26, the day is grounded in the belief that any person can implement the spirit of giving in his/her life, at any time. PIFD is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 500, 000 people in 39 countries around the world participating.

I spoke with Blake about PIFD and what living mindfully means to him.


What is your definition of living mindfully?
Living mindfully is living a full life where you use your unique talents and abilities for the greater good. There are so many ways to make a difference in the lives of others. We should be mindful of the fact that any time we interact with another person, we can leave them feeling better about themselves or worse. I love the saying – “never look down on someone unless you are helping them up”. 

What do you see as the future of PIFD?
I see PIFD being implemented in thousands of schools and businesses across the world to promote the power of giving, demonstrating to each of us how easy it is to make a difference. I see specialized pay it forward cards that each have a unique number travelling among numerous people, creating wonderful chains of good deeds that people can follow and be inspired by. I see wonderful kindness initiatives stemming from it and key PIF yearly focus areas whereby we commit to making a big difference in certain areas in communities worldwide. There is so much we can do.

How do you hope to make a difference in this life?
I'd like to help others shine their light on the world and make a positive difference along the way. I want to be a wonderful father and husband, friend and son and always strive to live my life by what matters most, as hard as this is to do sometimes. I am such an incredibly lucky guy in so many ways.

What words of advice do you have for someone who would like to make a mark, but doesn't know how?
Find a way to make your mark, make a difference and 'go for it.' The first step is to find something you are passionate about and then start planning how you might achieve that vision or dream. Remember, everything worthwhile starts with a vision - a vision of how you would like things to be. There will always be challenges along the way but the key is to see this challenges in a positive light. See them as an opportunity to grow and learn. If success were easy, everyone would be successful. Only you can define what success means to you. Have fun, stay true to your principles and go for it. You are never too late and you are never too old...unless you say so.
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For more information about Pay it Forward Day visit http://payitforwardday.com. Note that proclamations are still required for some Canadian provinces. To see a complete list visit http://payitforwardday.com/countries/canada/. If you can assist with a proclamation, contact Darlene at darlene.doskoch@cmhawl.org.

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