When we reach milestones in our lives, such as graduation, finding a job, or getting married, we are reminded of the “debt of gratitude” we owe to the many people who have nurtured us to this point.
Returning the favor is called “Giving Back,” but did you know that there is a similar but different word, “Pay it forward”?

In Japanese, there are words that use the word “On(debt of gratitude)”.
In Japanese, there are words that use the word “on” (debt of gratitude). “Ontsuren” means to give back directly to someone who has been kind to you.
To “sell a favor” means to be kind to someone with the expectation of receiving something in return.

When you receive kindness or good will from someone, you don’t return it to them, but pass it on to someone else.
Instead of returning the favor you received directly to that person, you send it to someone else.
The person to whom the favor was sent passes it on to another person.
The idea is that when the cycle of gratitude begins to circulate in this way, a positive chain of events will occur in society.

In fact, repaying a debt of gratitude is not an easy thing to do.
The best way to repay your parents and teachers is to show them how you have grown up, but it takes a long time.

If you want to “Pay it forward” without limiting the recipient, you can start with something small right now, and you can do it in a short time.

There is a similar expression in English, “Pay it forward”.

One person does something good for three people.
The three people who have done something good will do something good for the other three people, one by one.
Three people do something good to nine people, nine people do something good to 27 people, 27 people do something good to 81 people, 81 people do something good to 243 people, and so on.
The idea is that the world will change for the better as a result.

“What you owe your superiors, pass on to your subordinates”.

If you are a businessperson, you have probably heard this word before.
Passing on the knowledge and skills that you have accumulated to the next generation is called “Pay it forward”.

One Light, One Corner, Many Lights

Each of us should be a single light to illuminate a corner of the world.
Each one of us should illuminate the place where we are at this moment.
If there are 100,000 or 1,000,000 of these “comrades,” the outer environment may change.

What is necessary for this to happen is “Kokorozashi,” which is the purpose of each individual’s life.
Aspiration is the purpose of your life, the meaning of your existence.
Is your purpose in life clear?

We think there is a clue in this video by Daniel H. Pink, an American author and writer.

Sustainable,This is something that is conveyed in the SDGs, but We think it has been a natural part of Japanese values since ancient times.
The present is a loan from the future, and we must make it better and return it to the next generation.
Isn’t this what our ancestors did as a matter of course, “Pay it forward”?