Helping others

It’s Not All About Me!

A Story about Focusing Less on Myself and More on Others

At sixteen I thought the world was mine and I believed that I could and would change it. Every time I switched the T.V. on I would hear about another racist killing, more wars and yet another environmental hazard. I had been successful in my ‘O’-Levels, I was well-educated and came from a good family. I knew where I was going and my plan was to make some big, positive changes in this crazy world and tell everyone about myself.

Then, I watched the film ‘Pay it Forward’ ( and that’s when real change happened for me. The story is about a boy who has a challenging homework task. He has to write about a way of changing the world in the sense of improving mankind, and then put it into action. The boy thinks of something simple – the idea that favours are not returned, or paid back, but paid forward, in the form of good deeds done to new people. In the film, the child begins by doing little, good things for three people he knows. These people pay the favour forward with another three people each and soon people the boy does not even know, are enjoying the positive benefits of his idea!

I left the cinema completely taken by this feel-good film. There I had been – me with my big plans for change, when really all I had to do was be the positive change I dreamt of, by bringing it to as many people as I possibly could. It was not all about me and my cleverness and about how famous I could become. It was about attitude – really caring about others.

I would begin easily – first by helping at home with my family. I would ask them not to return any good deed to me, but to look for others they could do good deeds for. Then I would take that attitude to Sixth Form and every day, everyone I’d meet would be an opportunity for me to make a positive difference in my community…and later…the world.

Things to Think About:

·         Are you happy with the way the world is today?

·         Is there anything you would like to be different in the world? What?

·         Whose responsibility is the world?

·         Have you ever thought about how you could change the world?

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