I first came across this idea in one of the books by John C Maxwell but the term itself goes back to antiquity and was popularised and explained by Robert Heinlein in his 1951 book ‘Between Planets’.
It’s an interesting concept: instead of paying someone ‘back’ for what they have done for you, you use whatever you would have rewarded them with by contributing to someone else thus creating or continuing a ‘chain of reward’ moving ‘forwards’.
“But what about getting paid for what I do?”
Well, the concept is that you have already received – in advance – for what you just did for someone else. They don’t ‘pay’ pr reward you, instead they do something for someone else – while at the same time someone else ‘in the chain’ is doing something for you
Takes some getting your head around doesn’t it? Especially in this pay and age when everyone is looking to ‘get paid’ (in money) for what they do or what they provide.
The ‘system’ says we should set a ‘price’ for what we do or provide, and require payment of that price from our clients or customers. And – we should use ‘money’ to execute that payment.
Thus, governments have a means to tax us on what we receive for what we do – or in other words, to tax us on what we do.
These ‘taxes’ of course are ploughed back into the community for our benefit and security – in theory.
Then there’s the ‘gift paradigm’
We feel, if we receive something unsolicited, we are obliged to respond with a ‘gift’ – to ‘pay it back’ or maintain the balance. Hence the tradition of exchanging gifts at Christmas (the ‘three wise men’ by the way did not expect anything in return) and exchanging rounds of drinks in the pub.
This is the opposite of ‘pay it forward’.
‘Pay it back’ is a closed loop rather than a chain of transactions from one person to another, to another and so on.
What we can’t quite grasp is how, in a Pay it Forward chain, all our needs will be met, there is very little predictability of how and when this might happen, unlike a Pay it Back loop.
The thing is the Pay it Forward idea is governed and facilitated by the Laws of the Universe, several of them: Supply, Attraction, Receiving, Increase and Compensation.
I’m not going into these now – you can find out more by following the ‘Working with the Law’ programme by Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey, available from Life Mastery Now.
The Pay it Back paradigm though, is not governed by the Laws of the Universe, rather the laws of the country you live in, and facilitates the control and ‘management’ of the population through the circulation (the closed loop) of money.
How to shift paradigms?
There are several organisations and websites in place now helping people to begin to operate the open chain system and again it would take too long to go into the details. A search for ‘Pay it forward’ will yield some results once you get past the references to the movie and novel of the same name.
There are a few ways you and I can start to break out of the closed loop.
One is to start to use different forms of payment such as crypto currencies (but not state controlled digital currencies) and although this is, or can be, still a closed loop at least it breaks away from government control.
Another is to ask our clients if there is something which they can do for us, instead of giving us a sum of money; or asking our suppliers if there is anything which we can do for them in the same way.
This is a revival of the barter system and there are now websites that help facilitate this. It can still be a closed loop but starts to introduce principles other than the idea that everything has to be ‘paid for’ with money.
Gene Roddenberry never explained how the 23rd century ‘Star Trek’ society evolved to manage without money and move to a ‘Pay it Forward’ way of living.
There are vague and perhaps dubious scientific links to things like ‘warp drive’ and the ‘transporter/replicator’ technology, but nothing to explain the massive change in global economics which must have occurred to make it all possible – other than perhaps the Third World War referred to in the movie ‘Star Trek – First Contact’.
All I can say is wouldn’t it be great to make a start?