Fourteen years ago I was an eighteen year old girl going home after a long evening of working retail. To get home I had to cross a toll bridge. When I arrived at the toll booth, I reached out of the window and attempted to hand over my 75 cents only to be told that the previous driver had already paid my toll.
I had no idea who the previous driver was or what their car looked like. They were long gone. But that moment stuck with me. I just knew that I wanted to spend my life doing similar simple, kind acts on a daily basis.
Well, we all know how it goes. Life got…….hectic. I worked full time for a while then got married and had kids. When I’m out and about now, my focus is just on getting my errands done–I’m not really concerned about spreading the love while I do it. Plus, and I’m letting you guys in on a little secret here, I’m not a naturally friendly person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never mean or rude, but smiling and being overtly friendly doesn’t come naturally to me. I have literally been told by strangers that I need to smile more. (As a side note, people who say stuff like that to strangers are jerks. Just saying.) Needless to say, I didn’t devote my life to doing random acts of kindness.
So why am I telling you all this? Why am I admitting to being an unfriendly crab? Well, last week while on one of the blog hopping journeys I alluded to yesterday, I stumbled upon 29 Gifts.
29 Gifts is a global giving movement with a mission to “revive the giving spirit in the world.” You sign up and simply put, you give away 29 gifts in 29 days. As the website says, “Your 29 gifts can be anything given to anyone… money, food, old sweaters, smiles, your time, kind words or thoughts.” Oh yes, this sounds right up my alley. This is what I’ve been wanting to do with my life since 1995 when that stranger paid my toll. Well, more or less.
Here’s where I’m going to ask something of you folks. I’ve signed up already and I’d love it if you’d sign up as well. And once you pledge to give for 29 days, if you have a blog, chronicle your giving. Of course there is no need to mention every gift you give-we don’t need to pat ourselves on the back on a daily basis-but I’d love to hear about the more creative ways you were able to give. I especially want to know the inexpensive or free ways you’ve given, because this is what I’ll be focusing on. Personally, I would like to keep doing this after the 29 days are up and there is no way I could continue if I get into the habit of spending money on a daily basis.
Don’t forget that family members count too. I know that sometimes my family sees the worst side of me. I’ll be polite to strangers at the grocery store who I couldn’t care less about, but then come home and call Jay a dumb doofus for leaving his shoes in the middle of the kitchen. Any small act, or change in behaviour for the better, can count as a “give.”
So please, pop on over to 29 Gifts. Snoop around for a bit, and if you think you’re up to the challenge, sign up. After you sign up, tell me about it! Leave a comment here or at my blog. I’d love to know more about your giving. And remember, your 29 days can start at anytime. Mine begins right now.