A friend of mine recommended I read a book, 29 Gifts. It is a movement started by a lady with multiple sclerosis who was feeling down and having a pity party (sound familiar anyone?!?!?). One of her friends was an African spiritual advisor or something like that and gave her a prescription to give away one gift each day for 29 days. It could be anything from a smile to kind words to loose change to anything that you "give" someone. In the book (which I'm surprisingly enjoying....kinda thought it would be lame!!), the author notes how almost immediately upon starting the challenge that good things start happening for her. She also noticed how good it felt to give things to people. She notes in the book that if you got 100 or 1,000 or 1,000,000 people to all give something each day that the world would be a better place to live in. She started a website/wrote a book - and that brings us to today.
I decided to take this challenge. Today was Day 1. I pondered all day about what to give as my first gift. I mean, this seemed big. It sets the tone for the whole challenge. I felt like I was friendlier to all my patients and coworkers today because I was in this "giving" mode. A coworker asked if she could have a bit of my Coke and I said yes. But I didn't think that should count as my gift. First, because she had to ask. Second, I would've shared with her even if I weren't doing this challenge. Then a different girl (think the dumb one from an earlier post) asked if I would try her food she brought. She was so excited about it and was very eager about me trying it and liking it. I don't think my trying her food should count as a gift. That seems like every encounter with me is a gift....well...hmmm....
Anyways, after a good workout, I decided that I'd go to McDonald's for dinner and I'd pay for the car behind me in the drive-thru. EXCEPT NO ONE PULLED UP!! Seriously. 6:30 pm. McDonald's in the 'hood...no one. I went to plan B - there is this homeless guy who is standing by my exit off Lake Shore Drive every day. He's always holding a sign asking for coffee (side note on homeless people - where do they get the marker to write signs with? Why do they all have the same handwriting?) and I always avoid eye contact and try not to stop at the stop sign. Well today is a different day! I rode over to the exit...and he wasn't there!! Man, this giving thing is hard! But he was walking up to the stop sign so I waved him over and gave him the gift card. For some reason, despite the bright red card with the big M, I felt the need to explain to him it was a McDonald's gift card and that I see him there every day and I never stop. Meh. I'll get better at giving as the days go on.
Part of the challenge is to keep a journal and to be aware of all the things that you give. I, fortunately, have never really felt like I had nothing to contribute to the world...but today alone has made me realize I have so much more to give than I would have ever thought. I'm looking forward to going through the challenge and giving things!! I'll update on here from time to time but probably won't give daily updates on my gifts. However, if you are interested - check out her website or read her book. Time to start giving!