It's about a 7th-grader named Trevor (Osment), who was given an assignment by his new social studies teacher Mr. Simmonet (Spacey) to think of an idea that could actually change the world. For most of the kids, it seemed just like any other home works, hypothetical and just that - an idea. While for Trevor, he took it seriously and planned out a very inspiring idea - PAYING IT FORWARD.
Paying it forward means that you do some favor to three people who really need it. You do something good for them without expecting anything in return but for them to pay it forward to three more people each. It's like how the networking or pyramid-ing business works. Until more and more people are paid and they do good to others again and again.
And as said earlier in the movie, it this world where everything was crap, it was such a utopian idea that's impossible to happen. But Trevor proved it wrong when he helped three people: Jerry, a stranger he picked up who used to be an addict, Arlene (Hunt), his mom who has an alcohol problem, and his teacher, Mr. Simmonet. And when he did, little did he know what from his simple idea became such a movement that inspired so many people and made a great difference in their lives.
Yes, it seemed so easy to say that we can help other people and do good. But when we try to actually do it, it's like there's always something that's pulling us back to do it. Be it fear, doubt or anything, it's those important things that we seem to hold back from. We do everything but that which, who knows, might actually be the push that other people are waiting for for them to change their lives. That one moment which will move them to turn 180 degrees for the better.
Wouldn't that be an amazing feeling? To be able to change someone's life whether you are close to them or not. With just one action, you have actually changed someone's future. It's quite a pressure, but don't feel the need to be. Just do it, whether it may or may not end in the way you wanted it to, or they might not even be grateful for what you did, at least you did it anyway.
I don't want to spoil the movie for those who haven't watch it yet, and that's to encourage you as well to take a moment and watch this inspiring story. If a young boy can change the world, what more if we, too, try? Three words: Pay. It. Forward. :)