"Pay It Forward" isn't just a so-so movie starring Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment. It's a philosophy on how to make the world a better place — and Jemmie Adams is one of its greatest ambassadors, reports NJ.com.
In a recent profile, Adams spoke about his 30-day campaign to do kind things for strangers. Over the past month, he's given away money to help pay for gas, gifted Valentine's Day flowers to residents of an emergency shelter for women and children, and provided subway fare for people trying to get home after a long day's work.
Adams explained to NJ.com's Barry Carter that he upped the number of people helped each day. On the first day of his experiment, he helped one person; the next day, two. And the stakes kept rising. On day 28, he kicked in $10 in gas money to 28 complete strangers. NJ.com has a complete list of his good deeds.
Adams told NJ.com, "When you show someone kindness, they can take that kindness and give it to someone else."
"Once you fully and truly understand that we are all connected, you can work on relationships and the harmony we have between each other,’’ he said.
All told, Adams spread goodwill to more than 500 people, spending $1,500 of his own money.
Earlier this year, Yahoo News profiled Michael De Beyer, the owner of a German restaurant in Texas who plans to sell the business in order to help pay for an employee's health care. And in 2012, a Kentucky man walked into a Kmart about to shut its doors for good, purchased every last bit of inventory, and then gave the $200,000 worth of goods to charity.
Perhaps most amazing was the story of Jack MacDonald. The "modest millionaire," who clipped coupons and wore sweaters with holes in them, died in 2013 at the age of 98. He left $187.6 million to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army.
Still, you needn't be a restaurant owner or a millionaire to make a difference. When Adams gave a woman $1.50 for bus fare, she was clearly moved, saying, "God bless him. I think it’s wonderful," NJ.com wrote.
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).
Related: High school students paying it forward.