In 1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote the following letter to a man called Benjamin Webb:
“Your situation grieves me, and I send you herewith a banknote for ten louis d’or. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your own country, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts.”
“In that case when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending the sum to him, enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able and shall meet with such an opportunity.”
“I hope it thus may go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little.”
“With best wishes for your future prosperity, I am your most obedient servant. B. Franklin.”
I hadn’t realized that good ole’ Ben was the first to use the “Pay It Forward” strategy.
Thanks to www.PatternsPatch.com for allowing me to share this.