Posted by: ladybughugs | January 20, 2010

A Giving Challenge

I was searching my email and the Internet last week for a bookstore coupon when I found a link for this book and this blog inspired by the book. Google returned almost 88 million results for my search for the link. YIKES! I guess this is big! I think that is awesome.

I picked up the book at my local store over the weekend and gave some thought to trying the challenge myself. This is definitely something I can do. Something worth doing. So here goes…

My first gift wasn’t a big thing. I was in the mall on Sunday with Lil’bug, killing time on a rainy day while the boys were at basketball practice. I had a coupon and a gift card for Children’s Place in addition to their semi-annual Monster Sale. We did some other casual poking about, walking to one end of the mall and back, more to work off cabin fever than anything else. We came upon a kiosk where we’d stopped for a hair bow for Lil’bug the week before Christmas. That day I’d had both kids with me, we’d been dashing through the mall trying to take care of last-minute gift shopping, the kids were tired, their patience was waning, their behavior was deteriorating, and I was having no luck finding a red bow to match her Christmas dress. All the stores we’d been in had nothing appropriate.

One bow at this kiosk caught my eye. I asked the woman how much. It was $3 more than I had in my wallet and I was so tired I couldn’t even muster the energy to pull my debit card out of its sleeve. The woman gave it to me for the cash I had in my hand. I was so surprised, so taken aback, and sooo grateful!

On Sunday, I saw her again, tending her kiosk, and went back to make up the difference from that purchase. I felt awkward and didn’t know how to approach it. I asked Lil’bug if she wanted to pick out a new bow to match her school uniform. I showed her a solid navy and a royal blue bow. She saw a navy/white gingham bow and decided she wanted that one. The lady was standing there impressed with Lil’bug and her use of ‘yes’ instead of ‘yeah’ and when I handed her the blue/white gingham checked bow I told her I wanted to make up the difference that I owed her from that day, almost a month earlier. She hadn’t recognized us until I started explaining, but then I saw on her face that she remembered. Then I got a look of surprise, which quickly turned to appreciation.

When I finished speaking she declined my offer. She was happy to have given me that gift in what one might consider the high season of giving. I’d like to think that I gave her a gift of renewed faith in people to do the right thing.

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