Being a Better Giver

In 2004 and 2005 I was mostly unemployed.  I was working one part time job a couple of days a week and once in a while I would get a day long gig from a temp agency.  I was on unemployment as well.  This was the lowest point for me financially but my wife and I made a practice out of giving.

We were random givers.  We would give to homeless people and people we would come across who needed it more than us, if that was possible.  I remember being in Gainsville, FL and seeing a homeless man between two trash cans.  He was leaning up against one trash can with dirty tattered clothes, an old backpack and an over grown beard.  He had a defeated look on his face and my wife and I felt so bad for him.  We watched as person after person passed him by without noticing him at all.  My wife, on her way out of the convenience store we were at, handed him $20 and asked if he was ok.  He looked shocked.  He said he was fine and graciously accepted the money.

I don’t like to tell people about my giving.  I am private about it because I don’t believe we should do it for show or to be praised.  With that said, I share this example because of how it impacted us in the end.  We left feeling good that someone would, hopefully, have a meal that night and perhaps more.  The homeless man left with a potential feeling of relief for the night.  It was a moment that made the world a little bit better at the time.

As I said, we were in a very low financial place.  We gave with faith and somehow we paid the bills.  We didn’t have cable for a lot of that time but we didn’t need it.  We still had electricity and water as well as a roof over our head. In the end, I started making very good money for a time and our giving increased.

When I look back, I don’t know how the bills got paid.  It was nothing short of a miracle.  I give praise to God and feel as if karma helped us.  It was all because of our habit of giving.  Somewhere along the line the giving tapered off.  I regularly give but it’s different now.  I haven’t randomly given much in a long time.  Not directly to the people who need it either.  I honestly feel that you get back more good than you put out.  I don’t want to do it for selfish reasons because it’ll come back either.  I genuinely enjoy the feeling of giving.

My wife and I have decided to budget money out of every check to give.  We keep it in cash and give when the opportunity arises.  We’ve come up with ideas for ways we can give if we can’t find someone but so far that hasn’t been, and I doubt ever will be, a problem.  Instead of being afraid that I wont have money for bills, I need to have faith that things will be ok.

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