In this movie it is described as an obligation to do three good deeds for others in repayment of a good deed that one receives. Such good deeds should be things that the other person cannot accomplish on their own. In this way, the need to help one another can spread exponentially through society, creating a social movement with the goal of making the world a better place. In practice the philosophy of pay it forward has broadened relative to its literary roots, and now stands for a more general social responsibility and desire to help others in recognition of the help one has received for one's self. It is also sometimes described as being 'good for a favor', meaning a willingness to help others (even strangers) on the expectation that it will all come back around in the end.
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