Play It Forward

By Aiden MacIntyre

How can we allow businesses and their employees to share in the social responsibility we have to other human beings? If it truly does "take a village to raise a child" what role do individuals and companies have to play?

 At Canadian/American Outback Adventures & Events, we have created "Play It Forward," a smartphone game that all types of groups can use to facilitate human connections and foster kindness and empathy.

Recently, our company had a chance to test it out. The beauty of the game is people can play anywhere - we had eight teams from our Head Office in North Vancouver, one in Calgary, one in Toronto, three in the USA, one in Squamish and two in the Philippines.  Each team received $100 (which was more than enough) and had three hours to do good deeds and give back to our community.

 I was quite shocked by the give-back that I was receiving while playing the game, and two instances were especially memorable.

1.    One challenge was to buy a flower and give it to someone that you think would appreciate it. I went to buy the flower, but the florist gave it to me for free and would not take any money. I kindly thanked her and ended up giving the flower to a lovely elderly woman. Another challenge was to give a "thank you card" to someone that you have encountered recently and who has done something nice to you, so I found a nice thank you card and gave it to the florist who had given me the flower for free!

2.    I had to write a note to someone telling them to have a great day, and I found a gentleman standing on his own and I asked him to read the note that I had just handed him. He really appreciated it more than I had expected. He ended up telling me about how he used to work in a job where all his employees were numbers, and he had no connection with the people that he worked with. He decided to change his life, and truly enjoy the interactions with his family, friends, and even strangers. He ended up giving me a chocolate and chatting my ear off for about 10 minutes. I loved it that a simple note could bring out such an interesting conversation with someone who I would have never spoken to without this game.

I know that all other teams had similar experiences and it really shows that if you put out positive vibes, and show kindness to others it really comes around full circle. Kindness makes people feel more connected and more responsible for each other.  It reminded us that the world of business has a role to play in educating the hearts of those around us.  It is a core value of our company and we look forward to gathering stories from those who share this experience with us in the future.

Originally from the Okanagan Valley, Aiden moved to Vancouver in April 2013 for a position with Canadian Outback Adventures & Events. She has experience working in the wine industry and she has graduated from Thompson Rivers University with a BA in Tourism Management. Aiden is a small-town girl at heart, but loves to explore everything there is to do in a big city. 



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