Day 164: 8.9 Earthquake Strike Japan! Give Now – Find Ways to Donate Today
March 12, 2011
Day 166: How to Change the World – Easy as A-B-C
March 14, 2011

I don’t need to say anything before this give. It was sent to me from a dear friend with a huge heart. Enjoy this give and keep it close to the front of your brain the next time you hit a Starbucks. If a sweet treat doesn’t present itself what about buying a coffee for the next person?

Day 165: Give 165

As a guest to 365give, I want to start this post by saying that I love what Jacqueline and in many cases, her son Nicolas, are doing with the concept of giving everyday.  When Jacqueline emailed me over 200 days ago about her idea, I thought it was fantastic.  Now that it has become a reality, I think that she is doing a great job of inspiring others to ‘remember’ to give.  I believe that most people give on a daily basis to their communities, whether it be financially, emotionally or physically.  What is so wonderful about 365give is that it reminds us to give each and every day, to make it a habit or ritual that completes our day.  It re-introduces giving as an intention, not as a requested reaction.

When I think about completing a give for the day, my day becomes more meaningful, more exciting, and seems to have more purpose.  Purpose is not something that I need, I have a lot of that, but giving each and everyday has injected a new purposeful meaning into my day.  For this I am thankful for Jacqueline and Nicolas and their journey of 365give and will continue to follow their example each and every day.

My giving is always serendipitous.  I prefer that the giving moments present themselves and for me to embrace the situation as a giving moment.  I love the fact that 365give has a back up for me if the moment has not come to me.   My giving moment could be a give of human management, time management or financial management.  Nonetheless, it is preferably an impromptu give that presents itself and requires a conscious reaction on my part.  My Starbucks purchase today presented me with a giving moment and left me with some food for thought after it was completed.  This is what happened.

Starbucks had a promotion in one of their stores, where, if your purchase was over a certain amount you recieved a free food gift.  It was a promotion for their new bite size snacks.  I was purchasing tea for a group of us so I ended up spending enough money to be given a few of these bite size snacks.  Not being a real lover of sweet treats, and knowing that the other tea drinkers would not want the temptation of sweet treats, I found my giving moment in front of me.

“Could you please give these free treats to the next person who purchases coffee?” I said.  The cashier/barista looked up at me and said, ‘I am sorry you want me to give your treats to the next person, really?’

‘Yes, I would like you to give the treats to the next person.  Can I do that?’

‘Yes of course, that is so sweet of you.  Really you don’t want the treats.  They are for free.  You don’t have to pay anything, and I can pack them up to go.’

‘Really.  I would like you to give them to the next person.  Could you do that for me?’

The barista gave me my change and looked at me again.  ‘That is really sweet of you.  I have never heard of anyone doing that.’

I looked at her, smiled and grabbed my drinks.  As I was preparing the drinks as wanted on the side counter, another barista came over to me and said “That was really nice of you.  I overheard that you wanted to give your free treats to the next person.  How sweet.’

As I left Starbucks, I was pleased that I have been presented with my giving moment, but was consumed ( really I was consumed if obsessed) with the fact that this act, this thought, seemed unheard of, alien or strange.  Is giving that much of a non-practiced principle whereby when you do give, it is thought of to be an oddity, an irregularity, an over and above the call of duty that it drew that much attention at the local Starbucks?  Appreciation is great, stunned appreciate makes me worried.

So my giving moment left me with a few thoughts.  Giving is a great ritual to incorporate into your life.  Giving as an act seems to be an afterthought as opposed to a thoughtful act.   365give is needed more than ever to remind people that giving is part of the human experience.

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