In the Workbook preparations for Week 4, in the box it states, “Wherever I go, I bring a gift.”
This story actually started with a Pepsi.
30 years ago I dated a woman in South Florida whose parents lived in Miami. They were lots of fun to hang out with. My girlfriend always took a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi to her parents, or some other token of appreciation. That seemingly little gesture turned into something I do quite often, except I don’t give toxic things to people I care about.
My nature of giving is usually quite odd to those around me, but WOW, what responses.
For example: When I was living in south Florida, I went to Costco with a guy I was sharing a house with. I saw a package of five little stuffed animals. You know the ones – you shake them or squeeze them, and they make the noise that the animal makes. I bought two dozen – 24 of those animal packages (120 animals in two full grocery carts).
My roommate didn’t know me very well at the time, and thought I was nuts. He asked me who I was going to give the animals to. I told him I had no clue at the time. He made fun of me all the way home. Shortly after we got there, his mother came over. She was an elementary school teacher. I gave her a couple boxes of the stuffed animals to share with her kids. She was ecstatically thankful. The next day she came back to report on how much fun the class had with those animals.
I gave two of the packages to my young niece and nephew. I told them one package was to share between themselves, not owned by either. The other package was for them to give away to 5 friends they BOTH had to agree on. They did, and reported back to me about it. It was indeed awesome to see the excitement on their faces when the told me what they did.
Try this one — it’s awesome: Just before my first Christmas with my current wife, we were at a thrift store in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the loudspeaker came the announcement, “Stuffed animals, 5 cents up to 6 inches, 10 cents up to 1 foot, 25 cents over 1 foot.”
I had a Jeep Cherokee, and I made several runs to it with grocery carts brimming with like-new stuffed animals. I literally stuffed my car floor to ceiling.
My wife asked me who I was going to give them to. I told her I had no clue. Like my old roommate, she thought I was nuts too. We ended up giving many of them away to poor families and friends with kids. The rest we put in big bags, and donated them to the fire and police departments for giving out to comfort children in times of distress.
For some reason I never take photos of the things I buy to give away – so I don’t have one for this blog. I guess my spirit is telling me that giving is not supposed to be for the memory, but for the moment.
My wife still thinks I’m nuts when I buy a bunch of something that I have no clue of why, and sometimes those things sit in a box for years. Then one day, we’re going to visit a friend, and I grab something “special” out of the box. Not a bottle of Pepsi, but something that is heart-felt by the receiver. Wow… very cool.
Loving life is giving.
Thank you for reading my post.