I haven’t actually seen the movie Pay It Forward, in which a young boy comes up with a plan for direct action and encourages people to do 3 good things for other people, creating a “charity pyramid scheme,” but I’m intrigued by the concept. So when I saw that Eco Yogini was inviting readers to participate in a blog version of the pay it forward philosophy, of course I wanted to get involved. I love memes and virtual connectivity, and I love crafts and mail!

Here’s the lowdown:

  • I will make a handmade gift for the first three people who comment on this post.
  • I technically have 365 days to do this
  • What it will be and when it will arrive will be a total surprise

The catch for gift-receivers:

  • You must have a blog to participate
  • Before or after you comment here, you must do a write up of the pay it forward on your space and keep the “Good Karma” flowin’

You should know:

  • I love crafting! You will receive something unique and marvelous and most likely knitted!
  • I’m also a total procrastinator and leave everything til the last minute, so you might not receive it until November 2010

So if you want in, comment below! Be sure to include your email in the form (this will be private; only I, as the administrator, will have access to it) and I will follow up with a message.

These kinds of reciprocal actions are small, but I think they’re very powerful. Taking the time to make something and then mail it to somebody is a direct and active way to participate in the slow movement and craftivism. It’s also a way of engaging with “gift economy,” a grassroots alternative (based on social theories of traditional societies) to the dominant market economy where “valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards” (hmmm… sounds a lot like karma yoga, n’est-ce pas?).

And just in case you need more inspiration, check out this TED Talk with Carl Honoré, journalist and author of In Praise of Slow.