Archive for the paying it forward Category

Paying it forward in real life

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, Pay it forward, paying it forward, payingitforward, sharing the love, sharingthelove with tags , on April 12, 2010 by TferThomas

As you know, I am huge fan of paying it forward; in fact, I try to live my life with paying it forward.

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity presented itself to actually pay it forward in person.

Quite often, when I stay in Melbourne, I walk between the apartment and the office (roughly a 20-25 minute walk), and the walk is the perfect time to mentally prepare myself for the new day. So, yes it can be said, I am in a world of my own, but seeing something jolted me out of my own pre-occupiedness… an iPhone sitting in the gutter.

Now we all know I am not a fan of the iPhone but the sight intrigued me…it was clear someone must have lost it.

I remembered that there most likely would be some sort of screen lock & that proved simple. I noted it said it was Sim card locked, so the owner must have reported it lost.

Now to find the owner (yes, why would I even consider keeping the iPhone (I have no need for one) or giving it to any number of friends/family who wanted one…never even considered it; it was always going to be handed back to the rightful owner). I know how much an inconvenience it is setting up a BlackBerry from scratch, so only can imagine the same would be said of an iPhone.

Eventually I found the contacts folder, and yes, as you would expect, found Mum (doesn’t everyone have Mum/Dad listed in their phone?). So I rang “Mum” and yes she had a son who owned an iPhone (seems he has a history of losing devices).

So Mum came to our office that afternoon and collected the iPhone. She was most appreciative, and she presented me with a home grown bottle of peach chutney to say thanks.

The son rang that afternoon, to express his gratitude. “There should be more people like you in the world” he said. I simply said that it was the only thing to do, but also that I much prefer BlackBerry to iPhone, so I was always going to give it back (hey, what else would you expect me to say?)…he took it very well.

So there you go…paying it forward in real life; it’s not that hard.


Another….paying it forward twitter style… a successful outcome

Posted in BlackBerry Bold, Pay it forward, paying it forward, twitter on July 8, 2009 by TferThomas

I talk (tweet?) to a diverse range of people on twitter, something I am really proud of. No two of my twitter friends are the same, which is just brilliant for me, as one of my initial main reasons for signing up to twitter in the first place, was to simply learn from people… something I am pleased to say, happens many times every single day.

As you may well know, I use a hashtag quite a bit, and that one is #payingitforward and i have explained my views on paying it forward and how I try to pay it forward in this blog.

One morning, I was DM’d on twitter by a gentleman in the United States with a proposal that he thought I may be interested in, and let’s be honest here, how many of these are simply “not my cup of tea” (I am sure you know what I mean)? Anyway, as is the case of the majority of these, I read them, check out any links and have a think. Yes or no, good or bad, interesting or not, they were the decisions to be made.

This one caught my eye… he was looking for a way to promote/introduce Australian artists in America, and whilst I didn’t have a clue as to how to do this, or even where I would start, I immediately thought of one avenue….

You see, I know people within a government department whose job it is is to promote the export of Australian goods/services/talent to overseas markets. Perfect!

So I asked him to forward me a quick outline to my gmail account & I passed it onto my contacts…. paid it forward.

That was a couple of weeks ago, and today got notification that yes the government department would love to assist and contact was made.

Regardless of the outcome, I know from within myself, I have paid it forward.

So as I sit here and type away (on a keyboard that is way bigger than my BlackBerry Bold’s qwerty keyboard), I feel a nice warm glow descend over me…. i have made a difference to someone else, and it literally cost me about 30 minutes of my time.

So, if ever you get the chance, go on, try paying it forward.


Paying it forward…using twitter (it’s happening right now)

Posted in Angels and Demons, BlackBerry Bold, friends, movies, paying it forward, twitter on May 25, 2009 by TferThomas

So a small group of us went out to a movie on Saturday night (saw Angels & Demons) and after it we went to a little cafe for so delightful crepes and hot chocolate, where the conversation took an interesting turn… and I could pay it forward.

One of our friends (a small time film maker, embarking on a documentary) had enlisted the assistance of a prominent Australian muso, but had now lost contact with him, and could not get a further response.

I may have a solution, or at the very least, an avenue to pursue… from my BlackBerry Bold, I opened up SocialScope Lite and DM’d one of my good twitter friends, and asked if there was a way to contact the muso in question. Hey, it couldn’t hurt, and I had a good feeling.

Within half an hour, the reply was back (received on the drive back to the CBD)… there were two ways contact could be made, both very successful in the past.

Our film maker now had a way to get the project back on track, all because of a social media network called twitter, my positive helpful friend on twitter, and my BlackBerry.

Where the story is at….

A draft email is currently being penned, which will be forwarded from our film maker friend, to my twitter friend, for forwarding to the muso, whose help with the project will greatly assist 1. the project but more importantly, 2. some needy individuals.

Don’t underestimate the power of paying it forward.

I shall update this as the story unfolds.

Until later,


Paying it forward… simply put

Posted in karma, paying it forward, twitter on April 1, 2009 by TferThomas

One thing that I can confidently say is on twitter (, I am well known for promoting the concept of “paying it forward”. Well, at least with my twitter friends, and my friends, colleagues and peers in person.

A common question people ask when interacting on twitter, is how do I “pay it forward”? Hmmm, good question, and one that I shall now try to cover off here.

Firstly, paying it forward is never something you could say is pre meditated. Instead, you pay it forward, when the moment grabs you…. or spur of the moment, totally off the cuff. So being in tune with your inner self is important. Some call it your higher self, others refer to it as your sixth sense, but whichever it is… listen carefully to it. It is normally right.

Secondly, a paying it forward action should never have real negative implications for yourself. For example, putting some loose change into a parking meter (something I have done) is not really going to tax your overall position financially, where as spending $5,000 on a random someone just may. Paying it forward comes from someone who “can” to someone who possibly “can’t”.

Thirdly, paying it forward is done without having to think “what will I get out of this?” The very point of paying it forward, is to do it when you get the opportunity, done randomly, and with zero expectations to receiving anything in kind. Rest assured though, when you are in need, pay it forward comes full circle.

So the next time you get a feeling to help someone out, listen to that feeling, run with that feeling, and pay it forward.

A little village in Fiji can show the world leaders a thing or two in racial relations and paying it forward

Posted in Christmas, Fiji, Fijian-Indian, paying it forward, race relations on December 24, 2008 by TferThomas

This Christmas marks a couple of milestones for me… my first overseas trip, my first Christmas without my biological family and Christmas Fijian-Indian style.

I am in a little village outside Nausori, which in turn, is outside of Suva (which I am sure everyone knows of), and staying with my partner’s family (Mum, older brother, his wife, and their little son) and are here for ten days.

A little bit of background of the village. It is a village, consisting of houses, grog shop, DVD store, general convenience and petrol store, Police Post and community centre (to which the grog shop is attached). From what I can tell, the residents are either Fijian or Fijian-Indian background. One family owns the grog shop, DVD store, and convenience store… and that’s my partner’s family (Fijian-Indian).

Their house is more than 100 years old, and has been through 3 generations of their family (originally built by my partner’s great grandfather). In fact much of the immediate land was, or still is, in the family name (no longer farmed by the family, mostly on agistment with other farmers).

Sam (my partner’s father) built the convenience store, DVD store, grog shop and community centre. The Community Centre consists of a room, amenities, covered large open room and lean-to for more room, and has a pool table.

It was by his influence within the local government that he was able to get the main road from his store to his neighbours bitumen (when asked why he didn’t continue with the bitumen from his store to the main road (Suva – Nausori) he replied simply that he only got the bitumen done where his customers come from.

His lasting legacy (he passed away about 2 years ago) was not the bitumen road, but the Community Centre, and more importantly, the pre-Christmas get together, to celebrate Christmas within the little community. Basically, every parent provided a present for each of their children, which would be given out by Santa. In the meantime, lots of Christmas music would be played over the speakers, and Kava flowed freely.

This year, of course, was the first time I experienced the pre- Christmas community get together, and I noted the following:
* The Christmas music was both loud and very happy (no escaping it within the village)
* A good solid mix of Fijians and Fijian-Indians were present, and sat amongst each other, not segregated
* The MC of the event conducted a communal prayer (Christian based), ensured a Fijian chant was done, but most importantly explained to the children the importance of community spirit, respect for your neighbours, and helping each other…. in other words, he paid it forward.
* Santa had an amazing tan, a wicked pair of Oakleys, and 2 missing teeth 🙂
* Santa arrived on a back of a ute, in convoy with a couple of cars
* Santa liked Kava
* Every adult male was offered Kava by the local Fijians, and I had a couple of coconut shells worth (yes, it does taste like muddy water, it doesn’t make you sleepy like say beer, and t does numb your mouth)
* The level of respect my partner, her older brother, and most importantly, their Mum (Sam’s widow) received by all and sundry was truly incredible, and a sight to behold. As a tag along, I too was offered and given great respect; something totally unexpected. It was very obvious that Sam’s presence was still very much among them all.
* I knew I was safe having some Kava with the locals, even with a well known ability of not holding my own with alcohol
* I tried to learn some of the customs with Kava (saying Bula first, clapping the hands (cupped) once, drinking, and then clapping cupped hands twice)
* Every child had a present (my partner made sure we had purchased a number of presents for some of the less advantaged families’ children)… yep she understands the concept of paying it forward
* A few families (Fijian and Fijian-Indian) provided the curry chicken and rice for everyone
* The store provided the lollies for Santa to hand out
* The night went on to 10:30pm with lots of music, and beer (the Kava ran out early evening) but promptly stopped so as to not annoy the neighbours with children.
* The following day, a group of locals cleaned up the community centre, and life returned to normal.

This little aspect of life in a village is one that our world leaders should take heed of when dealing with the international and localised problems:
* Two races interacted with each other, in the same way long term friendly neighbours do (and of course that’s just what they are)
* Religion did not impede on the day’s events, with both Christians and Hindus peacefully enjoying their day together (yes, I know Hinduism is more a way of life, but you get my drift)
* Regardless of wealth, or lack thereof, a community, with the right spirit and sense of respect, can be both wholesome and fun to be a part of.

So, on this Christmas Eve, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe, rewarding and relaxing break. Please take some time to pay it forward to someone else… You never know where it will lead.