What Appreciation, Empathy and Gratitude All Have In Common?

When it comes to acts of random kindness or paying it forward, the common notion is that it is an activity that brings internal peace and satisfaction along with the release of endorphins that make us feel good about ourselves. Although all of this is true, it is a part of the whole ripple effect produced by paying it forward idea.

Paying it forwards start a ripple effect and your one act of kindness affects the lives of several people and makes life better for them. For a better life in general one needs to keep on paying it forward so that the circle of good keeps on going and benefiting all the people around you. In the lines below, I shall discuss with you why you should pay it forward by giving some examples from different walks of life.

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One of the easiest, simplest and perhaps the most effective way in which you can pay it forward is by appreciating someone by smiling or saying a kind word about them. Believe me, it is one of the most effective ways in which you can appreciate someone and the other person will instantly acknowledge your praise. The simplest example of it can be when you go to a mall and smile at or speak nicely with an assistant there. The ripple effect starts and the assistant then feels confident and speaks with other customers in a polite way and behaves with other colleagues in a friendly manner, all just because of your little smile or a kind word.


The act of random kindness also does a subtle benefit to your character and personality as well. If you analyze it at a deeper level you will come to know that the act of random kindness is not so random at all, rather it has a long history and logic behind it. In most of the cases, the factor that triggers that act of kindness is empathy. When you see someone in trouble the hand you lend, when you see someone worried the shoulder to rest upon you provide and when you see someone confused you politely help them reinstate their confidence all show that you have been through these situations and you know what these people require in their situation. Therefore, paying it forward, in other words, represents empathy. Hence, every time you show kindness to someone it shows that either you have been through that stage of life, or you have greater empathy, which makes you feel for the other person.


One of the biggest ethical values, which is missing in most of the world and the graph of which his declining with the passage of time is gratitude. It is because of the lack of gratitude that people do not help each other, in which people are intolerant of each other and people aren’t kind to each other. Therefore, your act of random kindness such as a simple ‘thank you’ shows that the spirit of kindness is alive and functional. When people who are inspired by you will start incorporating the factor of gratitude in themselves, they will start a circle where they will be kind to others, tolerant of others, and will help others in the time of need. Thus, by paying it forward you make sure that the flame of gratitude keeps on burning.

Now It’s Your Turn!

Are you a follower of the whole idea of paying it forward? What things do you do on a daily or monthly basis to ensure that you keep on doing the right thing? What act of random kindness has paid off for you? Please share your insightful experiences in the comments section below.

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24 responses to “What Appreciation, Empathy and Gratitude All Have In Common?”

  1. Yippeedaniel says:

    Thanks for this morning refreshment post, just woke up,read this and my heart just feel open and free, wow i never that smile is the only way to appreciate people. I pray daily for protection and help from above so that i can do the right thing.

  2. Frank Joseph says:

    Like YippeeDaniel said, this is a very refreshment post! Showing appreciation has always been working great for me,
    It not about giving out some $$, but a smile, a complement can go a long way.
    Thank you!

  3. Priya says:

    Appreciation and gratitude takes you a long way and we really need humility. Great post Nate.

  4. marilyn cada says:

    Hello Nate. I think my strategy of posting giveaways to my blog not only reinforces the very niche of my blog–make money online but it also serve as a means of paying it forward.

    I won giveaways several times and I want my readers to experience what I experience– to win giveaways. I decided to search for giveaways and present to my audience so that they have the chance to win.

    I will also initiate a giveaway of mine in the near future as another way of paying forward.

  5. Krystle says:

    So many people in the world today lack empathy and gratitude. You have to learn to appreciate the smaller things in life in order to be ready to receive the greater things that lie ahead. Great post!

  6. Kim says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’m a big fan of paying it forward and this was a great reminder. It’s a big part of those ‘old fashioned’ manners that we’re trying to teach our own kids.

  7. Nate, right on. You hit the nail on the head again! These are such simple things that should be more prevalent in our society today. The ripple effect you mention goes both ways. We can create positive or negative ripples, but just need to remember to keep generating the positive ones! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Benson Wong says:

    Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised by the response from the checkout clerk at my local supermarket or my neighborhood banker when I ask how they are doing. They seem genuinely appreciative that I took the time to check on their welfare. It also occurs to me that they probably deal with rude or generally unappreciative people all day long. So, I come along like a ray of sunshine and just brighten their day (and they mine for showing appreciation). Of course, I don’t ask for the sake of asking but because I genuinely care, so they can detect the sincerity.

  9. Love this post, Nate! Tons of value! Thanks so much for sharing!! 100% agree with you on all 3 of these valuable traits 🙂

  10. Diane says:

    From my experience, especially in the workplace there is often no empathy. People are out for themselves, and will often throw you under the bus to get ahead. They either take credit for all the hardwork you did, or will make your tiny mistake seem like an epic failure to anyone within earshot.

  11. Merle says:

    Excellent post Nate and a bit of gratitude costs us nothing and means a lot.

  12. Nate, when I moved to Phoenix, 22 years ago, I didn’t know anyone, other than my employer. I was struck by how people I passed on the streets didn’t make eye contact or even acknowledge that anyone else was in their world. So, I made it a point to smile and say hello to everyone I passed. It was amazing to see their reaction, and to notice my own feeling of being uplifted. I continue to do the same every day.

  13. I don’t consciously strive to Pay Things Forward. I try to treat people fairly, especially customer service people, because I’ve “been there and done that”. I worked in customer service for years, and I know how thankless it can be. People can also be downright mean, sad to say! I try to smile, to be patient, to immediately thank someone for what I consider to be good service. In other words, treat others like I would want to be treated. I do that at work, too. So far (knock on wood) I have never been thrown under the bus for treating my co workers with respect.

  14. Prasanna says:

    Even though things moving so messy, there is only one motto in mind that push me around and finds a way to being better. Still I didn’t name it. Hope that will boost me to a satisfactory position.

    Thanks for the self motivating post.

  15. Acts of kindness, I remember giving a listening ear to a family member having caregiver blues no respite care consideration. After providing her with resources in the community you could hear the change in her voice. Just a little act of kindness through helping Lowe’s me to receive appreciate from the caregiver and patient.

  16. Esha says:

    Act of kindness and empathy are really important, I am one of those who gives back wholeheartedly but I hate it when people jump to conclusions without empathizing with others.

  17. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Take a second to express gratitude. The change in your feelings – and life – will be astounding if you can simply do this. My life changed ridiculously quickly Nate when I became grateful. Awesome post, thanks!

  18. Christian says:

    I was reading one of Richard Bandler’s books and in it he said you can’t just choose to “be happy”, but you can choose to do life happily….even the challenging parts.

    That, to me, is where gratitude comes in. Being grateful for the breath in your lungs, the things that you have, etc, even if it seems like you have nothing.

    Oh, and random acts of kindness only appear random to those you are kind to. For the doer, they’re intentional.

  19. Meryl says:

    Being grateful for the things we have no matter how small will bring more good things into our lives. Showing gratitude to to others not only makes them feel appreciated but it allows us to feel good about ourselves as well. Also, taking time to be compassionate is one of the greatest rewards you can experience in your life. We may not always understand what someone is going through but simply listening without passing any judgment is all that it takes most times. It’s always a great feeling to just have someone listen to us and acknowledge our feelings. Great post!

  20. Such an inspiring article, Nate. I know how good it makes me feel when someone gives me a compliment or an encouraging word. I do my best to make someone smile, every day. I tell friends how much I care and how much I appreciate them. One little gesture can make such a positive difference in someone’s day. 🙂

  21. Robert says:

    Great article! I pride myself on the fact that I pay it forward each and every day. You should always appreciate everything and everyone around you. Gratitude is also something that one must be aware of as well as empathy. To be a good friend, employer, employee, and everything in between one much stay true to these values.

  22. I am a huge fan of paying it forward. And you make a great point that is isn’t necessarily monetary. It is simple things such as a smile, or showing appreciation. And I totally agree – not only does it raise your vibration and mood, it raises the receiver’s vibration and mood. That multiplied over the ripple effect is powerful!

    I make sure and smile and say thank you all the time. I acknowledge folks with a smile on the street or in passing. One time I did pay it forward at a Starbuck’s and the barista ended making the wrong drinks for an order. She offered me the free drinks and I was able to take them back to the office I worked in at the time to share. The reward was immediate.

  23. Veronica says:

    I am a big believer in paying it forward and paying it back. I always try to keep my selfishness out of the equation, and once you do that, you can focus on the needs of others. It’s all about having a servant’s heart. It is harder some days than others

  24. Roslyn says:

    I do frequent random acts of kindness and never linked it to idea of paying it forward. Nice notion. Thanks

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