Most of us can remember our mothers screaming at us as little kids to share our toys with our siblings. The struggle continued throughout our childhood because it would it never fail that someone else had the coolest toys or games and wouldn’t share it with you or anyone. I know that one of the amazing gifts in life is your choice to share your time, talent and treasures with others. I have a good friend whose husband just got a new job with a start up venture. I had asked how he was doing and she glowed in her response. ‘He’s learned more in the last 2 months then in the previous 5 years!’ All of this is happening because someone is willing to share their passion and then you see the result of synergism.
The reality for most of us, myself included, is that we are stingy with our resources and afraid if we give something away we will be worse off. I chuckle when Anne and I eat out at our local IHOP and the server complains about how stingy customers are when it comes to tipping. I have memories of being taken out by an older couple to a very fancy Italian restaurant and having the server come chasing after me. I thought something must be terribly wrong for her to do this. She said that her manager wanted to know if the service was so horrible that we decided not to leave a tip? I was dumbfounded because our friends had treated us. I quickly made up some lame excuse and rushed back to leave a generous tip for an amazing meal. I was shocked at how my friend could be so incredibly stingy!
I’m in the middle of organizing a 2-mile march for unity to end gang violence. My close friend whose son was killed by a gang incident is the one who dreamed this into existence. We have been planning and reaching out to our larger community and circle of friends. The reality is that we need to raise around $2000 and get around 50 volunteers to help make the march and lunch a success. Our goal is to provide awareness to the community about the impact of gang violence. We also want to communicate that there is hope for those who have lost a loved one to such type of violence. Our challenge is that we are quickly approaching our dead line for getting T-Shirts and a few others important items.
What has to get my attention in order to pull out my wallet or use my card to help someone? I was driving around yesterday and I saw a mom with a little one in a stroller. She didn’t look great and I could tell that she needed help. I choose to stop instead of just driving off. I rolled down my window and listened to her story. I reached into my wallet and gave her $5 bill. I have seen her around our area a little of the last year. I know that life for her is tough and most likely few are willing to help. I also recognize that $5 isn’t going to really help anyone.
The part of my life that I love is seeing those around me that are helping make a difference in kids and teens have an experience where they see the benefit for them. It is exciting to have someone cross over from being a taker in life to becoming a giver who is serious about life. I know that as a little kid I was fearful that my brother might break my toy or mess up my guitar or amplifier. The lesson I’m still learning, which is difficult to admit, is that too often things are valued over people.
I know that adult males have the best of all worlds because we work and have the means to get the toys we couldn’t get as little kids. We can quickly make the excuse that because I work I deserve to get this or that latest greatest high tech toy. I’m embarrassed to admit but too often I hold onto something because I don’t want someone else’s fingerprints on my pad or laptop. I’m so thankful that my mom pushed me into practicing sharing with my brother and my friends. I know that it wasn’t easy on her or my brother. I’m still learning to see that when I’m willing to share then surprise someone else around will do the same for me!