Pay it forwardThe balance between producing a smash hit, beautifully done film that also has a message that doesn’t feel like it’s being tackily shoved down the viewers’ throats is rare and precious. This two-hour drama starring Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey coined a new term, paying it forward, that has certainly encouraged world social change.

Based on a simple mathematical premise, young Trevor designs a class project that can, indeed, better the world. If each person helps just a few people, on the honor system of that person then doing, in turn, other good deed for additional people, to do good deeds for another few people, the magnification of those first few favors is multiplied immensely.

Pay it forward 2I will note that there are some elements to this PG-13 rated movie that are indeed not appropriate for children, including semi-nudity, sexual suggestion, violence, drugs and alcohol and use of profanity. That said, perhaps watch the movie as parents and decide what is appropriate viewing for your child. Should you decide against showing them this film, it’s still worth a Saturday night, if only to pass on the idea presented.

Family project: Create a Pass it Forward board in your home. Include both adults and children on your chart, and start to record the little things you do for others in the Pass it Forward spirit. Encourage each other to make the world a better place, one little bit at a time!

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