I was nervous before I did it. My voice was soft, and so was my heart. The manager was highly receptive to my pay it forward plan, and even made a joke. “That will be $99, Miss.” I laughed and made a choking noise in my throat, but honestly? I was willing. I had come that far. I had my kids in the car. I was ready. It turned out to be $4.00, which was more of a relief that they weren’t going to run out of doughnuts and coffee after $99 worth was purchased, than the relief was on my wallet.
We went a few days later and did the same thing. It might not be something to do every time, or to even admit we go to Dunkin Donuts that much, but Scarlet was insistent. So I explained it to the employee and he said, “You won’t believe this. Someone did that on Friday and it caused a chain reaction. I think we got up to 12 cars in a row. Maybe more.” I was bursting to say it was me, but I was also the same person who sped out of the parking lot (safely, of course) before the car behind me could catch my identity. It made me nervous, and excited. And I realized that what seemed small to me at the time – $4.00 – was bigger than I knew. A small contribution can actually make a big difference in someone’s day.. or even in their life.
Why am I bringing this up? A wonderful, strong, caring, Wonder Woman type of person in my life has written a book. Not only that, but I took the photos for the book cover! Me?? Little me, who is so not really Miles Davis. Just look at me go, Ma!
Even before you read the book and just read the inside cover, the write-up is a huge theme in my life. Many people think that they have to donate a lot of time and money in order to make a difference, but it isn’t the case. I have been at some low points financially and emotionally over the last several years, and it not only squashed my spirit and self-worth in general, but it hurts me not to give. Quite simply, I’m happier when I’m helping. I wish I had this book years ago, so that I’d have known about Jen’s six amazing models of giving, and that I was making it more complicated than it really is. This book covers her six models of giving, and is completely fun, practical and enlightening. Giving improves our overall happiness and well-being.
It doesn’t have to involve money or volunteering to make a difference. Sometimes it’s a simple gesture or voice of support. For me, simple giving is an anti-anxiety tool. Connecting. Smiling. Complimenting. Good deeding (I made that up but let’s go with it). Hugging. Donating. Stopping bad feelings in their tracks by feeling more fulfilled and connected to the world around me. Jennifer also asks the question, “What’s your pull?” What’s my pull to give? It’s wanting a better world and being here to see it unfold. It’s about believing that little and big things turn into big and bigger things, and that we have a world in which when a butterfly flaps its wings.. it leads to many amazing and beautiful things. It starts with simple giving. And myself.