Friday Finds: Pay It Forward

There's a person in Madison, commonly known as The Muffin Man, who makes homemade muffins every day. He then hands them out to anyone who is willing to commit to doing something "good" in return. He even carries around suggestions of things you can do to earn a muffin - like, "shovel your neighbor's driveway with no expectation of thanks" or "stop using your credit card for the weekend." This is a guy who's knows for "drive by good-works" - he'll stay in a town for a few months doing something good, then move on and do something similar somewhere else.

Then, today, I saw this:

It's brilliant in its simplicity.

Finally, I was reminded yesterday about a Facebook "game" where you promise to hand-make something for a small group of responders. For example, "the first five people who respond to this post will receive one hand-made item from me within the next twelve months." The catch being that, in order to receive your hand-made item, you have to post the same offer to your friends.

Lately, the idea of "paying it forward" has been coming up a lot. I believe that, if the Universe puts something in front of you over and over, you're supposed to act upon it in some way. I'm not sure what that means right now but, hopefully, all these "reminders" will inspire me to do something nice that I can encourage the next person to pass on.

Do something good today and ask someone to do the same.

- Alex


  1. I did the make something for 5 friends in 2011 - finished everything by Oct. (knit 3 pairs socks, made 2 quilts). Still haven't received my item from the original friend who posted but got 2 other hand made prezzies from someone on my list. It's all good & fun.

  2. I think in general the pay it forward is carrying so much momentum because there is a fear of being able to find assistance anywhere but from one's network. There's a huge shove to dismantle so-called entitlement programs at the same time as companies continue to downsize and outsource. I think that sort of fear and anxiety is driving emphatic people to look around and know they're better off than many and wonder what they can do for those who aren't. It's hopefully a positive outcome of this whole debacle.

  3. @stitchlilly - It's great that you did yours. I have to admit to crapping out on a couple of mine. :)

    @supermodel - That's a really interesting point! I hadn't thought about it in the larger cultural context but I think you may be spot on.