Older Americans read PIF as “Paid in Full”, consistent with their generations’ commitment to debt repayment. They strived to pay their share even in the sociological sense, seeking to leave the world a better place than they found it. Modern Americans may read PIF as “Pay it Forward” consistent with their generations’ desire to make a contribution, leaving the world a better place than they found it. Some things are core to humanity, relatively unaffected by generational differences.

We each pay forward—the ‘it’ varies, as does our level of consciousness. Engaging mindfully in that pursuit answers that most important question: “Who are you and what do you stand for?” Maybe what you stand for IS who you are.

Where, in your life, do you pay it forward? Consider first from the reference point of time. Do you give the extra moments younger ones (or older ones!) need due to unsteady legs, unruly fingers or uncertain minds? Do you coach, mentor or volunteer? Do you sit on a board or sit with the ailing? Do others benefit because you do it right the first time? Have you a team? Do you listen—allow time for answers? Are you patient with yourself, taking time to self-nurture?