RSS Paying Forward

  • She Wanted to Help Liberia's Most Vulnerable Girls. Then Her School Became a Predator's Hunting Ground October 11, 2018
    The More Than Me board, in a statement, said that the moment it learned of the abuse, the charity took immediate action ... For her, helping was about the giving and receiving of love.
  • Taylor: The benefits of being kind February 5, 2018
    National Random Acts of Kindness Week takes place Feb. 11-17. There is a Random Acts of Kindness Foundation that inspires people to be a RAKtivist — a Random Acts of Kindness activist, a kindness amba...
  • Sudan: Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan Mark 30th Anniversary With Historic Celebration December 4, 2017
    and giving thanks to the people of the world for their generosity, kindness and compassion toward refugees worldwide, including the millions of refugees from South Sudan currently languishing in refug...
  • Ten Ways to Encourage People to Give More November 27, 2017
    Following natural disasters like a hurricane or earthquake, many people rely on the generosity ... to come forward and take individual action. This is one of those times.” Less wealthy individuals, on ...
  • SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Giving thanks for our community November 17, 2017
    As we look forward to Thanksgiving later this week and then the holiday season – it is a good time to give thanks to our family ... in our community thank you for your kindness and seemingly endless g...
  • The 30 Best Workplaces for Consulting & Professional Services February 16, 2017
    “The kindness of people within CHG is remarkable. People genuinely care for each other. It’s the most welcoming, caring, compassionate place I’ve ever worked. You see that in programs like volunteer . ...
  • Beat Generosity Burnout January 23, 2017
    Another sign is that when you give an inch, they try to take a mile. Givers respond to help with gratitude and a willingness to pay it forward ... to volunteer for higher-visibility initiatives. If we ...
  • SPCA opens facility for large animals September 22, 2016
    The Stempel Stables, made possible by the generosity ... paying to board large animals at other properties. She said this was not only financially prohibitive but also taxing on the small staff caring ...
  • Season of kindness December 8, 2015
    It is the spirit of friendship that inspires benevolent action. It is the labor of compassion. For the past few years I have shared a number of accounts of active, caring kindness in my columns: givin...
  • Chutz honored with United Way's Community Service Award April 3, 2015
    She's also an executive administrative assistant at George Junior Republic; co-founder of Always Hope, a support group for friends and family of those suffering from addiction; and a volunteer ... to ...

Help Make the Laughing Heart Guide More Intelligent, Interactive and Personalized

Imagine if you could have your own personal intelligent guide dedicated to helping you, your friends, organization, or community cultivate and apply Laughing Heart whenever it can be most beneficial in the world:

  • A resource to develop steadiness and balance in hard times.
  • A trusted friend to guide you toward wise decisions.
  • A platform to connect you with interesting new friends and colleagues who share your passions.
  • A new way of learning and discovering surprising connections among seemingly unrelated domains of knowledge.
  • An immediate means to cascade acts of kindness and generosity in the world.
  • As many other ways as you can imagine and innovate to bring Laughing Heart into the world.

For Benefactors and Sponsors of the Laughing Heart App Initiative

Initial Donation Goal For This Project is $50,000. Use of Funds: To Build, Test, and Promote the Laughing Heart Intelligent Guide App in 2017. Donations of any amount you can afford are gratefully welcome. Please make your contribution directly to "Alliances for Discovery" via check or Paypal below, or if you prefer, to the The Santa Barbara Foundation earmarked for the Laughing Heart Initiative. All Santa Barbara residents have a lifetime free membership.

Charter Sponsor Packages

Springs of Amethysts - $100

  • Public Recognition as a Laughing Heart Charter Sponsor

Rivulets of Moonstones - $500

  • Amethysts awards plus:
  • Signed copy of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)
  • 5 free copies of the Intelligent Guide with one year memberships

Sparkles of Opal - $1K

  • All of Amethyst and Moonstone awards plus
  • 10 free copies of the Intelligent Guide with one year memberships
  • Public lecture, webinar, or other program in your honor
  • 3 signed copies of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)

Fountains of Pearls - $5K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, and Opal awards plus:
  • Designation of favorite cause for Paying Forward in Laughing Heart Launch Celebration
  • Three (3)public lectures on Laughing Heart with attribution to benefactor
  • 5 signed copies of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)

Jade Eddies of Laughing Hearts - $10K

  • Amethysts, Moonstone, Opal, and Pearl awards, plus:
  • Specially published “smart” book celebrating charter sponsors and their contributions, updated quarterly.
  • Prominent visibility as a Charter Jade Sponsor on the Vital Santa Barbara web site and within the Laughing Heart Network
  • Bi-annual ½ day Laughing Heart Discovery Seminarsat office or transferable as a gift to favorite causes.

Sapphire Brooks of Laughing Hearts - $25K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, and Jade awards plus:
  • Two (2) Bi-annual ½ day Laughing Heart Discovery Seminarsat office or transferable as a gift to your favorite cause.
  • Free advertising as sponsor for Laughing Heart TV SBseries and public acknowledgement at Laughing Heart Community Workshop hosted by the Santa Barbara Center on Lifelong Learning.
  • Promotion and paying forward empowerment for three (3) causes of importance to Charter Sponsor.

Contact Us

Ruby Streams of Laughing Hearts - $35K

  • All of the Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, Jade, and Sapphire awards plus:
  • 10 hours of dedicated free consulting time to community causes of highest priority to sponsor
  • One full day (1) training program with materials for organization of choice to Charter Sponsor.
  • Special prize award to designated cause of choice

Contact Us

Diamond Rivers of Laughing Hearts - $50K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Sapphire, Ruby awards plus:
  • Two full day (1) training programs with materials for organizations of choice to Charter Sponsor.
  • Matching grants to designated organizations of choice any time within three years after release of Version 1.0 of the Intelligent, Interactive, Personalized Guide.

Contact Us

The Laughing Heart Fund

The Laughing Heart Initiative is establishing a special Fund in collaboration with visionary philanthropists, corporations, and foundations to direct new sources of funding and other forms of support to causes and organizations that are applying Laughing Heart principles to relieve human suffering in all its manifestations. The goal of the Fund is to create compounding beneficial leverage by encouraging effective collaborative among receipts to maximize Laughing Heart Advantage for the largest number of beneficiaries. Financial and other support will be available through:

  • Special prizes
  • Direct Grants
  • Joint financing
  • Mobilizing volunteers and paying forward initiatives to designated beneficiaries
  • Celebrations
  • Client Co-branding
  • Other contributions in kind
  • Support for local communities


Move #8
Paying Forward



A single act of kindness can ripple through a social network, setting off chains of generosity reaching far beyond the original act.(1) What is uncertain is whether simply witnessing an act of kindness, or whether the giver must actually receive and want to reciprocate a benefit. A recent study concludes that the observer effect works up to a point—receiving is not necessarily a condition of giving–but thereafter, especially when paying forward appears to benefit large numbers, it falls off. So called “bystander” or “free-rider” effects take over. Apparently players believe their contribution is no longer needed when simply observing, although they will continue to engage when they are active recipients.

It is highly likely that Laughing Heart will fundamentally alter this bystander or free-rider effect. The reasons for this lie in the nature of qi and the unusual economics of Laughing Heart. Qi is the quintessentially free good. Its supply is unlimited. It is never depleted. Moreover, the feeling of Laughing Heart combines a sense of peace and power with ecstasy. This is a potent combination that produces a remarkable infinite progression: the more you pay forward, the greater the bounty that returns to you.

Paying forward can take many forms. Some people associate paying forward with financial contributions. But this is only one form of paying forward. Volunteering is a hugely popular form of paying forward. The extraordinary economic benefits to communities of volunteering are only recently being documented.(2)

Tracking Paying Forward

Paying forward is the most direct way to build Laughing Heart power. All you need to do is track the relationship of the joy and vitality of Laughing Heart and pass this life force (qi and love) outward to help others. Track Paying Forward for one week and see what you can discover when inner and outer processes align.

You can practice playing forward by yourself, or you might experiment with your friends. It doesn’t matter. The key is to have fun and to sense your new power and potentialities. Below is a template to keep track of your discoveries in the field.

Author’s commentary

Field Notes

(Note: You can enhance your Laughing Heart (L/H) power by using these Field Notes to track any L/H move. In this instance we suggest you track Paying Forward)   If you have a printer, download/print this PDF of the below Field Notes template you can use).

Move or Principle: Paying Forward (Date:………)

Goal: To Enhance Laughing Heart Power in one Week by Paying Forward (Record Week/Day:…….)


Case # 1: I implemented Paying Forward and the result. (Please describe)


Case # 2: I implemented Paying Forward and the result. (Please describe)


Case # 3: I implemented Paying Forward and the result. (Please describe)


Comments and Discoveries:


3 times this week I didn’t bother Paying Forward after a great win and the result.

Case # 1: (Please describe)


Case # 2: (Please describe)


Case # 3: (Please describe)


Comments and Discoveries:


3 times this week I didn’t bother paying forward, became conscious, and recovered, and the result.

Case # 1: (Please describe)


Case # 2: (Please describe)


Case # 3: (Please describe)


Comments and Discoveries:


Printable PDF for the Above Field Notes

Suggested Pay Forward Opportunities—The following is a list of paying forward opportunities that are especially beneficial to our pilot community, Santa Barbara. There are many paths to paying forward. No one way is preferred to another. Some explorers may seek “strategic” or “high impact” opportunities. Others may simply prefer “random” acts made spontaneously to momentary occurrences in your life.

There is something quite magical about this dance of serendipity. It confirms our sense that we are engaged in a generative process far greater than ourselves—at once profound, mysterious, and wondrous.

How might we materialize serendipities before our very eyes? Let’s have some fun with Move 9, Creating Your Own Luck.

Santa Barbara Pilot—Paying Forward Opportunities to Enhance Community Health and Wellbeing

Emotive Reaction Range? Hints: grateful, generous, kind, charitable, optimistic, powerful, authenticity

  1. A friend brings to us today this passage from Psalm 145 of the Old Testament expressing the spirit of paying forward across 2,500 years.
    “Thou openest thine hand and provideth to all who are alive what they request, desire, and intend.” פּוֹתֵֽחַ אֶת יָדֶֽךָ, וּמַשְׂבִּֽיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן.

    Further Comment: There is an interesting correlation of hand to power in the image of the Happy Buddha Hotei merging with universe in Move # 2–Finding Your Power–

  2. Paying forward in Laughing Heart is a secular expression of the energetic foundation of the Simple Prayer for Peace

    by Saint Francis of Assisi
    (12th- 13th Century/

    Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

    Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
    Where there is injury, let me bring pardon.
    Where there is discord, let me bring union.
    Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
    Where there is error, let me bring truth.
    Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
    Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
    Where there is darkness, let me bring light.

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

    to be consoled as to console,
    to be understood as to understand,
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive.
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
    It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
    Una Preghiera Semplice per la Pace da San Francesco

    O! Signore, fa di me uno strumento della tua Pace:

    Dove è odio, fa ch’io porti l’Amore
    Dove è offesa, ch’io porti il Perdono.
    Dove è discordia, ch’io porti l’Unione.
    Dove è dubbio, ch’io porti la Fede.
    Dove è errore, ch’io porti la Verità.
    Dove è disperazione, ch’io porti la Speranza.
    Dove è tristezza, ch’io porti la Gioia.
    Dove sono le tenebre, ch’io porti la Luce.

    O! Maestro,
    fa ch’io non cerchi tanto:
    Ad essere consolato, quanto a consolare.
    Ad essere compreso, quanto a comprendere.
    Ad essere amato, quanto ad amare.
    Poiché: è Dando, che si riceve:
    Perdonando che si è perdonati;
    Morendo, che si risuscita a Vita Eterna.

  3. Does Wealth Reduce Compassion?

    Is it possible that the accumulation of wealth closes the heart and renders us less disposed to paying forward? Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner detect a pattern, as reported in a recent article in Scientific American.

    From the perspective of the Laughing Heart Project the researchers’ findings may constitute a valid warning but not necessarily a description of the natural human condition. Rather, the findings appear to confirm the general caveat noted earlier from Emerson to Vivekananda—that too much goodness coming our way has the tendency to “worm worms;” and the remedy to such energetic stagnation (of qi and other forms of energy) is to hasten to pay it forward…line of line, deed for deed, cent for cent.

  4. Paying Forward as a Form of Deep Connecting

    Paying forward is an expression of deep connectedness, often manifesting in small anonymous acts of kindness and generosity.

    The core idea of connecting is of ancient origin. In the Phaedra Plato recalls Socrates’ Prayer:
    “Beloved Pan and all ye other gods who haunt this place,
    Grant me the beauty of the inward spirit
    And may the outer and inward man be as one.”

    Paying forward actually involves three related forms of connecting:
    • Connecting to one’s deep and authentic self
    • Connecting to other members of society
    • Connecting to the entire universe.
    There is an important developing scientific literature linking paying forward with volunteering and enhanced health, happiness, resilience, and longevity. (See the work of Stephen Post, Ph.D. Director of the Center on Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University ( and the Institute of for Research on Unlimited Love, (, “Why Good Things Happen to Good People”; also the research report on the immune-supportive effects of volunteering in the Art of Health Promotion, Volume 3, 2017.)

    In his book Dr. Post outlines 10 ways of giving all of which can take the form of paying forward:
    • The Way of Celebration
    • The Way of Generativity
    • The Way of Forgiveness
    • The Way of Courage
    • The Way of Humor
    • The Way of Respect
    • The Way of Compassion
    • The Way of Loyalty
    • The Way of Listening
    • The Way of Creativity
    All these “Ways” when expressed in acts of paying forward help to turn the Wheel of Life, which introduces “Creating Your Own Luck,” the subject of Move # 9. Inter-tidal Connection:See also Move # 7, “Enhancing Your Immunity Through Love.”

  5. Is Paying Forward Instinctive?

    Paying forward applies not only to the bounty that comes personally to us. We can also celebrate and take refuge in the basic goodness that is likely occurring at this very moment quietly somewhere in this rolling world.

    Here is the story of one such miracle.

    “When this dog saw a baby lying on the street, she knew she had to help. So, she did what any tenderhearted mother would do and tried to help the vulnerable child – and what she did next was absolutely incredible.

    Little Santino was born in the town of Virrey del Pino, Argentina, in the summer of 2013. However, his mother abandoned him when he was just one month old. Instead of taking him to a local orphanage, though, she simply left him all alone in a courtyard.

    Left on his own, the little baby had no way of fending for himself. At such a young age, he wouldn’t even have been able to lift his head for more than a moment. Hence, walking or even crawling to warmth or safety was out of the question.

    Of course, all newborns need plenty of food and sleep to survive. Often, tiny youngsters sleep in short bursts and wake up only to eat. Even if someone had been tending to his needs, then, it is unlikely that Santino would have been able to get the rest and sustenance that he needed to survive while living on the streets.

    To make matters worse, his mom had abandoned him at the coldest time of the year in Argentina. In July, temperatures can drop to 41 °F. This meant that, left alone, the newborn could easily freeze to death.

    As Santino lay outside, he wasn’t totally alone, though. Locals were familiar with a stray dog that lived in the area. The mutt, whom residents had named “Way,” often spent her days wandering the streets in search of food. After all, it was important that she got enough to eat, as she had a litter of puppies relying on her.

    Needless to say, Way’s motherly instincts were fully developed. So, when she stumbled across Santino on one of her rounds, she couldn’t leave him lying there all alone. She had to act. And she chose to do something amazing.

    Way went back to find her expectant litter. But rather than feeding them there as usual, she decided to take them on an adventure. She picked up every last one of her puppies and brought them to Santino.

    Once there, Way arranged her troops to surround the little baby. Together, they huddled in tightly to keep one another warm. And thanks to their body heat, little Santino was able to survive the freezing cold night.

    The following morning, a local woman – Alejandra Griffa – heard a strange noise coming from the alleyway. It sounded to her like a crying baby. So, she took it upon herself to investigate just in case.

    To Griffa’s amazement, the noises were indeed coming from a baby. She had, of course, stumbled across little Santino on the street. And when she saw how Way and her puppies had taken him into their fold, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

    However, Griffa had no choice but to split up the adorable scene that she’d happened upon. After all, she had no idea how long Santino had been left for. She therefore hastily made her way to a nearby hospital with the newborn baby so that he could receive medical care.

    With that, the authorities began investigating Santino’s situation. They thereby discovered that his mother was a 33-year-old woman. And in the wake of the abandonment, they arrested her and removed all eight of her children from her care.

    Meanwhile, although Way was hailed as a hero in Argentina, this was actually not the first case of its kind in the country. In 2008, a 14-year-old girl prematurely gave birth to a little boy in a shanty town near Buenos Aires. However, the girl panicked and left the baby on a garbage-strewn waste ground.

    But, luckily, a dog named La China found the newborn. Much like Way, moreover, the creature took the baby to be with her own puppies, and once there, she kept him warm and safe and treated him just like one of her own.

    It wasn’t until La China’s owner heard the baby crying that they discovered he was there. They found him lying with the puppies, covered in a rag. And although the baby had endured some minor injuries, there wasn’t a bite mark on him.

    After finding the 8lb 13oz baby, the dog’s owner took him to hospital, and aside from some bruising, the child was otherwise okay. As a result, staff at the hospital decided to name him Esperanza, which translates as “Hope.”

    When the authorities caught up with the baby’s young mother, she told them that she had been scared to tell her parents about the birth. However, with support from welfare agencies, she was able to continue with her studies as well as being a mom.

    As for the dog, she became a local celebrity in Argentina. She even won awards for her good deed. And while as a shy dog she didn’t enjoy all the attention, as it subsided, she was eventually left alone to care for her puppies in peace.

    Still, while the dogs themselves may no longer be celebrities, Way and La China’s tenderhearted actions will never be forgotten by those they touched. Thanks to them, two babies survived the most terrible of circumstances. And they surely proved once and for all why dogs are known as our (we human’s) best friend.”

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