This will be a short one but an important one. How many of us were ever positively influenced by an authority figure when we were younger? Perhaps it was a teacher or professor. Maybe it was a cop or an adult big brother or sister volunteer. Maybe it was an established professional in our career field or a higher level executive in our corporation or a higher ranked officer/NCO in a military unit. In any case, did that person take you under his or her wing and provide guidance and help?
Oft times, it’s not possible or convenient to pay back those persons of influence other than to acknowledge their help. Since we can’t pay it back, we have the alternative of paying it forward. Do unto someone else as someone did for you when you were younger. Become a mentor. There are worthy new guys out there who could use a boost up. Look around for talent in the raw. Is there someone who could be helped by your hard-earned knowledge and experience? Consider taking that person on as a work in progress. You can make a huge difference in that person’s life. No, you’ll never be paid back directly by that person, other than perhaps his acknowledgment. But maybe he’ll pass that help forward to someone else who comes after he does. It’s like a chain letter in which everybody wins and no one loses.
Look around. If you’re an experienced person with something to teach, find someone worthy of your help. If you’re someone in need of assistance, look around for a mentor who can provide what you need. Paying forward is a very altruistic concept and has been with mankind forever. Recognize when it’s your turn to either ask for help or to give it.