He chases after me. “HEYYY!!! Wait!! Come back!!” I look back and chuckle.
Mulberry street, the night before. The Feast of San Gennaro, the festival in Little Italy. Deep fried Italian rice balls. Ham and cheese, pesto, and bolognese. To die for. But after eating 3 of them you start actually thinking about dying. Box of 10, too much. Next day, I’ll give the rest away.
I walk past a homeless guy everyday on E Houston, and Avenue B. He whines in his whiney voice, “Have any change!?” When I have a quarter I toss it to him. I’ll give him the Italian leftovers.
I offer. He looks at them, and shakes his head with a disgusted look. Apparently beggars can be choosers. I walk away, but then he comes sprinting up the street with that whiney yell, “WAIT!!!” I hand him the box of food.
I like to do these random acts of kindness. I buy a cup of coffee for the person behind me. I pay for someone’s toll, the car behind me. These little things, make someone’s day. It makes my day. Also, the people’s reactions can be funny and fun to see.
Earlier in the summer, I took the bus from Jersey. $4.50 ticket. I had no cash. The bus driver said this one is on him. I told him how awesome that was. Genuine appreciation. He was more happy giving, than I was receiving.
Generosity generates. Generosity in your relationships beget better relationships. Generosity with ideas begets more ideas for you. Generosity with money begets more money in your life. Generosity in any area of your life comes back to you 100 fold. Every major religion teaches this. It’s a Law of the Universe.
I’m fortunate that I was exposed to giving at an early age. My mother, and my grandparents’ core values of gratitude and giving were shined down on me. I’ve been given a whole lot in my life, and because of that I want to be able to give 10 times as much to the world.
Giving and abundance are universally rooted together. When giving becomes part of your life, abundance in your own life follows. It doesn’t happen right away, but I’ve seen this happen in my life.
Frank McKinney; author, real estate investor, and mentor calls it the “tap.” When God, or that spiritual higher calling is tapping you on the shoulder to make a difference. He’s built 24 self sufficient villages in Haiti in the last 14 years. I read his book when I was 21 years old, and committed to helping his charity. I didn’t have much money, but each year I would donate $20-$100 to help pay for some meals in Frank’s villages.
I saw Frank speak a few years later. $5,000 donation to build an entire house, which included 3 day trip to meet the families from the villages. I was 25 years old, and $25,000 in credit card debt. I couldn’t afford it, but I made the donation, maxing out my credit cards.
Around the same time, my new job started to pick up. Opportunities and connections came my way. Money started to flow in.
Frank influenced my life through his lifestyle, and one of his maxims, “One who has been given much, of him, much more will be required. From the one who has been entrusted much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48
Another mentor of mine, Kent Clothier, has been paying families’ layaways (payment plans owed) at Toy ‘R’ Us and Walmart during the holidays. The ripple effect of his generosity, and his friends and clients continuing the tradition, has been special. Kent’s business continues to thrive and grow each year.
No doubt, work is required. Frank works hard. Kent works hard. I worked hard to get out of credit card debt.
That said, when I give, life gives back and provides a whole lot more. I think the Universe works in an outward and inward movement, a cosmic two way street of sorts, always flowing both ways. When you give, the Universe opens up to you and shows you the endless supply of what’s possible.
You don’t have to donate an entire house in Haiti, you don’t even have to pay hundreds of dollars to charities. You can start small and give small. You can give someone a cup of coffee, your attention, your kindness, your smile.
This makes their day. It will also make yours.