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The sharing of knowledge also helps to dispel ignorance,
which is often what lies underneath negative emotions like fear and hatred
Today, 28 April, is international Pay it Forward Day. It's all
about the ripple effect. Making the world a better place, one kind
deed at a time.
The idea of paying it forward has been around for decades. But it was
American novelist Catherine Ryan Hyde who really popularised the
concept (and phrase) with her 1999 novel of the same name. The
following year the novel was made into a successful Hollywood movie
starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt and bearing the same title.
The phrase "paying it forward" generally refers to the
spreading of kind deeds. But at TAFE NSW we also believe that the
paying forward of knowledge can be an equally powerful way of changing
the world. We all know the incredible value of knowledge and how
empowering it can be for an individual. And the sharing of knowledge
also helps to dispel ignorance, which is often what lies underneath
negative emotions like fear and hatred.
Paying knowledge forward can be incredibly simple, sometimes even
intuitive. Have you ever explained something from class that a fellow
student was having trouble understanding? Congratulations, you've paid
some of your knowledge forward. In fact, any advice you've ever given
to someone, provided it was based on reliable information and you were
giving it in good faith, is also "paying it forward" in action.
And, of course, the internet is awash with great examples of the free
sharing of knowledge.
Go to TED Talks and you'll
discover a smorgasbord of free knowledge in the form of over 2,000
"talks to stir your curiosity". This is paying it forward x
2. The original speaker was sharing their knowledge with the live
audience, and the uploading of the video onto the internet ensured
that knowledge could be accessed by millions more people all over the world.
That old stalwart of the internet, Wikipedia, is
another great example of the spreading of free information. People
with particular areas of knowledge are able to share that knowledge by
directly contributing to articles and pages on the site. And Skillshare represents a whole
other class of information sharing where people upload brief
instructional videos demonstrating skills that other people are able
to benefit from.
Paying your knowledge forward is something that anyone can do and it
doesn't cost a cent. It's just another simple way of making the world
a better place, step by step. Or byte by byte.
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