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Friday, January 6, 2012

It feels good to give

A couple of days ago I was the only person in line behind a young woman who was counting her change to pay for her purchase. She didn't have enough money. I could feel her pain and embarrassment. Without thinking I asked the clerk how much she needed, which was a little over a dollar. I handed her a five dollar bill and said take it out of this. The young woman gratefully thanked me and I said, Happy New Year!

After she left the clerk told me I was a very kind person. We briefly discussed that what you do for others comes back to you. She related the fact that she had once found a wallet outside a casino containing $2,000 dollars and turned it in. Four days later she won over $4,000.

The clerk's story briefly made me wonder if I would be repaid for this and many other times I have felt a person's pain and responded. Then I decided it didn't matter because I didn't do it for a reward. I did it because it feels really good to give.

I remember a wonderful opportunity I had several years ago to help someone and it brought back a warm feeling to my heart. A friend and I were having lunch at a local restaurant. We were served by a very good waiter who shared that he and his wife were going through some hard times through no fault of their own and he had lost faith in humanity. Again I felt his pain. I had just come from the bank and had an unusual amount of cash in my purse. I took an envelope and placed bills in it, not questioning what I was doing. I handed it to him as we left. When we reached the door of the restaurant we heard a loud whoop and he rushed towards me with a grateful hug. He had just received the biggest tip he will no doubt ever get from a customer. I still am not sure why I did what I did, but the memory still feels really good.

Last week a man knocked on my door shortly after dark. Our roads were ice packed and he appeared to be walking. He said he had just gotten off work. In his hand he held a jar with a photo of a baby he said was his godson. The baby was in the heart hospital and the man said he was trying to collect money to help the parents. Although it was a strange situation to occur at night I hesitated only for a moment before contributing a small amount to his cause. In sharing the story with others and asking what they would have done I was surprised at the reaction of some. One in particular said to call the police and report the man because she suspected it was a scam. Another said it only mattered that I followed my heart and if it was a scam it was the man's problem to deal with. Even though I had never met the man before I saw no reason not to believe him and I am happy that I followed my intuition.

A couple days after this happened my car suddenly started overheating and I immediately stopped at Delta Tires, which is run by a good friend. My car was checked and it was determined I needed a new alternator. Obviously a tire store does not usually deal with other problems a car might have. In this case the owner had one of his employees put in a new part. I was out of there in a couple of hours and the bill was very reasonable. I choose to believe the kindness I showed to others recently had a lot to do with the outcome.

Today I'm splitting some bread crumbs between the birds in my yard and my feathered friends at the Riverwalk and dropping off some cookies at our local mission. giving doesn't have to be limited to money.

It really doesn't take a lot to help someone in need. I intend to keep doing what I am doing because giving feels really good.

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