Friday, September 6, 2013


The other day, a customer left me a tip that equaled 100% of his bill.
Maybe I'm being naive, but I am pretty certain that he did it simply to be kind.
There were no strings attached. It wasn't terribly extravagant, either.
I was so grateful, moved that someone would do that for a stranger,
and it made me realize that we could all afford to make someone's day every once in awhile.

Later that day when I was on my way home, I biked past an older man who I always see in my neighborhood.
Once a week, he slowly pushes a grocery cart in which he collects recyclables.
I waved, he waved as he sung the gospel.
It took me a couple of blocks before it dawned on me,
but I eventually turned around, pedaled up to him, and gave him that $20 tip.
I told him that I knew he wasn't asking for it, and I told him about my gracious customer from a few hours earlier,
and he started to cry.
He was pointing to the sky and kept repeating, "This is how my God works."
And while I am not at all religious, in that moment I said, "mine too, my friend."


A little more on giving:

▲ If you ever feel the urge to give, Donors Choose is an incredible charity.
Teachers propose a plan detailing how they will use the funds, exactly how much money they need,
and Donors Choose allocates the funds from donors to get that teacher what they need.
I've heard teachers say they have ordered class sets of textbooks, art supplies, and field trips using Donors Choose.

▲Learn to give yourself without expecting anything in return.
To me, this means giving my time and my energy to my family and friends,
my little girl, simply because I love them and want to be near them.
Sometimes it's easy to be selfish with our time,
but putting your own stuff aside to listen to or support another has much more long-term gratification.

▲If you're into evolutionary psychology, like me, you might enjoy this article.
Altruism feels good, and evolutionary psychologists can explain why.

▲My dear friend, who is a constant inspiration to me as an educator,
has been teaching in Tanzania, doing amazing, amazing things.
Her most recent amazement has been to start an organization that will make a beautiful difference in the lives of children.
People like her, who are this driven to do something good in the world, are truly a rare breed.
Visit the Chipuka Center to find out more, and donate!

▲Give a gift. A thoughtful gift that mean something. Make something. Wrap it creatively.
It's so fun and feels great every time.



  1. love this post... keep it up girl! great reading!

  2. Awe, I love this. Thank you for sharing. You have a lovely heart!

  3. thanks for the reminder. it's a good one to remember.