Commentary: We humans are not islands. Everything we do affects the people, neighborhoods and ecosystems around us in some way. One act of kindness for another person can inspire the recipient to perform a good deed for someone else, and through a ripple effect, many others can benefit.

In 2000, Hollywood helped create widespread awareness of this “pay it forward” concept via the feature film of the same name. At the beginning of the movie (based on the novel Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde), Kevin Spacey’s character inspires one of his students, played by Haley Joel Osment, to “pay it forward,” and the latter’s good deeds end up touching the lives of many people.  

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