Sunday, January 6, 2013

Generosity

When it came to choosing a theme word for 2013, I toyed with a few ideas. I think last year’s word, if I had even chosen one, would have been SURVIVE, so I considered whether this year’s word should be THRIVE.

The more I thought about it, however, I kept coming back to GENEROSITY.

I am not a naturally generous person. I lean more toward thoughts of scarcity and want than generosity and abundance. As a kid I counted Christmas presents and Easter candy to make sure I wasn’t getting the shaft. I consistently tried to do things to get my mom to love me more than my siblings, as if her love might somehow run out if she spread it three ways.

Tim and I suffer from a lack of generosity in our marriage. There is tallying and scorekeeping-- a certain stinginess of spirit-- as we each try to protect what we see as “my rights” or “my time.”  In pre-marital counseling, our minister gave us some words of warning about "a youngest child marrying a youngest child." Margaret, like her mom and dad, is quite comfortable being on the receiving end of generosity.

I know you aren’t supposed to choose a word of the year and inflict it on your entire family. That’s kind of like when Tim decided we would all give up TV for Lent right during the Winter Olympics. Or when I optimistically instituted, “The Summer of Social Skills.” Big bombs.

But generosity is an ideal I want for our family. I don’t want to cling so tightly to love that it fizzles and burns out. I want to expose it to the light and air and spread it around. I don’t want to miss opportunities to help others just because it’s inconvenient. I have often marveled at the huge outpouring of love and acts of kindness we have received from others (from you!) since Jack’s accident, at a time when we just could not do for ourselves. There has been great beauty in accepting and being healed by the generosity of others, but I wonder, are we now only takers and not givers? I want 2013 to be a year when we look outside ourselves and spread love to others by loosening our grip on “mine” and “me.”

I was thinking of all of this when I got in Tim’s car to drive to my solo writer’s retreat Wednesday morning. About two and ½ hours later, smoke pouring from the hood of the car, I pulled over to the shoulder. I was far from home in an unfamiliar place. Within minutes, four people had stopped to see if I needed help. Young. Old. Black. White. An elderly man took a look under the hood and said the car was too dangerous to drive, so I called a tow truck.

While I waited for the tow to arrive, I hunched over in the front seat and peed in a McDonald’s iced tea cup. These were desperate times, I tell you.

Mike, the tow truck driver, picked me up with a smile on his face and a great accent from having grown up along “The Rivah.” We chatted about his daughters, one in college and one in high school. On the way to his shop, he called his wife to see if their extra car was at home. It was. Before I knew it, I was driving an adorable VW bug in my favorite color, light blue, and was back on the road. Yep, Mike knew only my first name and cell phone number, but he had lent me a car! We would be in touch over the next few days, checking on the progress of Tim’s car. When it turned out that it couldn’t be fixed anytime soon, Mike offered to lend me the VW bug to drive back home and keep as long as I needed it, as in “a few weeks!” Instead, Tim drove the 2 ½ hours to get me and we hope to rent or borrow a car in our town.

I thanked Mike for taking such good care of me. When I pressed gas money into his hand, he refused it, saying, “That money will come back to me 20 times over.” I asked about his generosity. Did his wife mind his giving so much of himself to help total strangers? Here we were, on a Saturday morning. A simple tow on Wednesday had become rather more complicated, and I had a feeling I was neither the first nor the last person Mike had helped out in this kind of circumstance. “Naw, my wife’s just like me.” “Her Daddy’s shop was right across from my Daddy’s shop when we were growing up.” Sounds like a family culture of generosity to me.

So I went into this week, this new year, determined to become more of a giver and less of a taker, and yet I’ve already taken more and more. But my experiences with those 4 people who stopped to help me on a cold winter morning, and with Mike who is still trying to figure out how to fix Tim’s car, have shown me to think  BIGGER when it comes to generosity. Not necessarily bigger in monetary terms. But more of myself. More of my heart. More of my time.
Love doesn’t run out.


The Lettered Cottage

108 comments:

Anne said...

Beautiful post Anna! One of the many things I am working on this year too!Even if it is something small I want to give more!
xx
Anne

mia said...

Love it... Me too, we are so very blessed and i want to give as well. Random acts of Kindness... You continue to inspire me everyday.... Love you and many blessings in 2013. xoxo

Japolina said...

What an amazing, motivating story!

suzyq said...

Wow Anna - thank Goodness you're writing a book - because those writing skill of yours are meant to be shared -
Beautiful post -
Absolutely beautiful.
Hugs,
Suzan

Momma Holmes said...

This was awesome! Having said that, think about the following: My mother taught me that it was selfish not only to not do for others, but to not accept from others. Sounds like you are generous by allowing others to do for you! That is also a gift!!

Geri said...

Beautiful post, as always. I admire your honesty and self-awareness.
The neat thing is, I've always found that I thrive the most when I am generous, of time, spirit, or money.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

Generosity is a great word! I think you re so right...generosity doesn't have to be about money. I have found that a generous spirit comes in all shapes and sizes. I bet you are already more generous than you know. XO

Jules said...

I love your word & love that you want your family to embrace the word. Just remember that you do not need grand acts to share your generosity. You can simply let people know that they have helped your hearts to heal. I have learned that the little things mean so much. My family is embracing kindness this year. It is my word but everyone has an idea about how we can share acts of kindness with others. They have already done a few things that we have come up with. I can't wait to see what they come up with for the rest of the year.

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

So I know I'm going to shed tears most of the time when I read your posts. Yes, once again. What a kind man and he must have seen the goodness in you as well.
Great post. Great word for 2013.

Take care,
Pam

NanaDiana said...

I read every word, Anna, and I am just always blown away by your total honesty. You may not think you are "generous" but when it comes to blogging you are generous in giving of yourself and sharing life as it really is...and THAT, my dear, is a true gift.

Blessings- xo Diana

Stefanie said...

I love that sentiment, Anna: "Love doesn't run out." Important to remember :) Lovely post; happy new year!

Barb Miller said...

Great post, Anna, and a terrific perspective on being generous as we start a new year!

katrynka said...

Mike knows of what he speaks when he says that his generosity will come back to him multiplied. My husband and I study Buddhism. I remember when an instructor really impressed him. The instructor gave this idea to practice generosity as well as non attachment to how your generosity is used: choose a monetary amount, perhaps it is 25 cents, perhaps a dollar, whatever you feel comfortable with. Then keep that denomination in your pocket, and whenever someone holds out their hand, give it to them. Do not think about if they deserve it, what they are going to do with it. This practice of generosity is for you, not for the recipient.

I can tell you from personal experience that as you practice generosity, it becomes more natural, and easier. And as you said, it is not always about money. I always feel that if everyone met the needs that they could, wherever they are, the world would be an infinitely better place.

Amanda said...

Beautiful. We spoke of this in Sunday School today and really geat advice because sometimes generosity can feel overwhelming. "Do for one person what you would do for everyone" and follow these steps: go deep, go long, invest time.
And always remember Gal 6:9. That is part of my new year

Christy said...

So beautiful Anna. It's so true. It's something I learned after having Fiona. I was SO worried that I wouldn't be able to love her as much as I love my husband. But of course, my love multiplied instead of being divided. xoxo

Mel said...

I really love this idea for your word. I, like you, though I feel kind and generous, can tend to hold back from full on generosity. I, like you, have been blessed with so many incredibly generous people who have done so much to help during hard times. I hope I can be one of those people for others.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh Anna, generosity is such a lovely word! And I think you are much more of a giver than you realize! I know so!

CCB said...

Love this! There are so many amazing people in this world and it's nice to be reminded of that. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This post blessed me in so many ways. I had kind of thought I'd like to choose a word for the year, and then I completely forgot about it, so thanks for the reminder. My word is going to be "joy".

To echo what so many have said, you are an amazing writer and I feel so drawn to your blog. I have tried to read other blogs, but they simply do not draw me in as yours does. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

katie said...

what a wonderful post anna! you are continually such an example of love. GENEROSITY is a PERECT word! xx

Anonymous said...

I was blessed by this. You clearly 'gave' to me. Mariann Alicea

Anonymous said...

All i could think while reading this post was....."you've come a long way baby"

You are the giver.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Wow, Mike.

There's this weird idea of "Paying things forward," but I think that's a misnomer. It's just kindness, and, yes, generosity.

I think of the term "generosity of spirit," and I want to capitalize the S. It all comes from Him, there is nothing random about any kindness.

A Speckled Trout said...

I had a similar experience when my car broke down in western KS in the middle of nowhere. A tow truck driver came and because it was a hybrid the first shop wouldn't even look at it. Long story.....I spent nearly three hours with him in the cab of a noisy truck driving far out of his way to get it to a shop that could repair it. When we got there he told the service department that I had to be in Kansas City by 3:00 for work so they should get on it ASAP.

There's some generous, incredibly kind people out there. When they happen your way you never forget them.

bernthis said...

I just freaking adore you. I utterly adore you

Katie said...

I know quite a few people from The Rivah (yeah, the same one), and they are just as sweet and kind as you can imagine. Someone must have been looking out for you to have broken down there, and not somewhere with less trusting people. I hope you had a great retreat!

anymommy said...

You're awesome. And I love this. And I want to do it too.

Lis said...

Wow--what a fantastic story. This made me think. Thank you!

The Empress said...

You have never been a taker. I have been more blessed by you than words can ever tell.

truly.

xo

IrishRN07 said...

Fantastic post Anna! One of my favorite tv moments of all time was the scene in ER when Dr. Mark Green died. You can "you tube" it. His dying words to his daughter were encouraging her to be generous.

The Bipolar Diva said...

Anna, you give so much more than you give your self credit for. You've given me the courage to face things I haven't wanted to face, you've given me the courage to begin to open the emotions buried deeply within my soul and "feel" them, to experience them and to try not to fear what come from them, but to embrace them. You've helped me through some of the most difficult incidents of my life and all the while you had no idea.

RachelSD @ Personality Crafts said...

Thank you for this. What a well-written story about the amazing people we come across in life. A great lesson for us all.

Heidi said...

This is beautiful. This really touched my heart, and I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and an ache (a good ache) in my heart. Thank you, thank you for sharing this.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

What a great story! I would watch the news if they shared generosity like that. By the way my word is light for the year and my husband's name is Mike,I couldn't help notice both in your story. :)

Lady Jennie said...

Mind boggling post, as always Anna. When you walk with God, everything is illuminated, but I think not everyone has their eyes open to see like you do. :-)

Mrs. E said...

I've just been thinking about this word. Looking at spring break plans that are about helping/giving instead of just me. Great example of human generosity. I think Mike is on the receiving end of a lot of joy!

Natasha Rawdon-Jones said...

This is a wonderful wonderful post on Generosity. Have you read Mike Dickson's book: Please Take One* (one step towards a more generous life?) -- very much inline with your lovely post.
www.facebook.com/pleasetakeonestep

Would love to chat some more... Happy 2013 :)

Rach said...

Wow! Your story of so many stopping to help was incredible--especially Mike! It's it wonderful to know there are still kind and good people in the world.

As for you, I love your word! It's so hard to be generous when you're a mom and you spend time squirreling away any time you can get to yourself.

Hugs to you!

julia said...

Beautiful Anna. St Francis prayer, right???

julia said...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

Masala Chica said...

I am so glad that while you were deserted in the middle of nowhere, that these wonderful, giving people stopped to help you. The world needs more Mikes. He sounds like a beautiful person and I am glad that you were able to make it to the retreat on time.

Thanks Mike and I hope the world is as kind to you as you are to it.

Lots of love Anna,
kiran

Theresa O said...

Wow Anna!! What a huge blessing!!! And just like my landlord's mom giving me such a blessing to pay my January rent out of the kindness of her heart...you too also met a kind soul, letting a complete stranger borrow their VW? WOW. I hope to keep hearing wonderful stories like this, for this year has started out with proving to me that there are ANGELS on earth!! And in heaven! No doubt Jack was there with you in the light blue VW.

Kerry said...

Just beautiful! Thanks for this Monday morning lift :-)

Anonymous said...

I like this. I also am the youngest and have secretly wondered if I am more the 'taker' type as well. I totally relate to the tally of presents and candy as a kid:).

I never have been a fan of "new years resolutions' or that type of thing....but this is something I would like to try. I am going to steal your 'generosity' idea for 2013. I'll see if my self-preservation, tending on hoarding ways can help more people.

Those people sound amazing...of course I was secretly thinking--ohmigod..they could be total serial killers at first. I am a suspicious NoVa-native.


Good luck! NoVa mom Jen

Patricia said...

Wow - what a great post. Reading this post has helped me in ways I can't describe to you..... Surely God put Mike in your path that day....talk about 'paying it forward'. And Anna - you are a truly generous person - every time you write on this blog, you give so much of yourself to others....don't doubt that !

practicingjane said...

Beautiful thoughts and words, Anna. I admire you so much and appreciate your honesty. Our journeys are different, but I feel comforted knowing about yours.
Love from Nashville, Bethany

MKaySigler said...

Dear Anna,
This is beautiful. What a great way to start the week. And...just for the record, I think you are very generous of spirit to share your life and writing with us. Generosity comes in different forms :-)
xo,
Maureen

tracy@sellabitmum said...

I don't remember the last time I cried this hard. Love this. Love him. Love it all. The world needs more of this. xo

MKaySigler said...

Dear Anna,
This is beautiful. What a great way to start the week. And...just for the record, I think you are very generous of spirit to share your life and writing with us. Generosity comes in different forms :-)
xo,
Maureen

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

I love to hear these acts of true humanity still exist. This is what the news should be reporting on. We need more positive stories like this in our lives to stay positive. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I hope that your writing time gave you what you needed, in spite of the rough start. When another woman takes the time to engage in anything that means something to her, without apology, it makes me feel more free to do the same. Agree with so many of the comments, especially about how it is important to be able to receive, and how any kindess is from the Spirit.

Alison said...

Loved reading this. The generosity of spirit, and kindness - what's not to love? Imagine what a truly amazing world we would live in if EVERYONE was like Mike.

heather Kopp said...

Anna, this is so beautiful and encouraging. Thank you.

Amanda Kesner said...

Love this...you are so good Anna, I always look forward to your posts, you are my favorite!

Leigh Ann said...

Wonderful and inspiring words. I wish it was my first instinct to give and be so selfless. But I believe that it can be learned.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

How generous they were and how blessed you were to have your car stop exactly where you needed to be!

Mama Kat said...

Wow! I love to hear stories about people who are just salt of the Earth kinda folks and I don't think it hurts at all for ALL of us to strive to be more like that!

Kristin @ What She Said said...

I firmly believe there are angels walking among us… and it seems like, often, they're tow truck drivers! My parents had a similar experience with a tow truck driver many years ago when they're car died along Rte. 460 between Richmond and Virginia Beach (I'm a Virginia girl, too). My mom has often said that he was their guardian angel, just like Mike was yours. There must be a reason angels go into the tow truck driving profession.

Motivating, heartwarming story. I love your word for 2013 and the reasons behind choosing it.

ashley said...

I just loved this, Anna. I actually came back and read it a second time because it warmed my heart so much the first time. Blessings to you in the new year.

~Ashley in Louisiana

Steph said...

What a heartwarming post. Thank you! I feel inspired by your writing to try and be more generous, too.

Amanda said...

So, so true. We should put acts before limitations, because once we choose an intention very little can stop us if our heart and mind are behind us.

Domestic Diva said...

I love everything about this and I will take the challenge and make it my own this year , too. Love, indeed, does not run out and love is meant to be shared. Thanks you for this reminder.

Anonymous said...

Share Mike's shop info! I know if i lived near you, I'd want to be able to go to someone as honest and generous.

Brandi said...

My middle child is a score-keeper. I will be sharing your "love doesn't run out" wisdom next time we are discussing this.

Jana said...

Every time you write a post, Anna, you give. Generously. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Lol... peed in the cup..lol thats me to a T... love it! My word is obedience.. Love you Anna

Jessica Watson said...

I'm so glad you have encountered so many givers and i think you give more than you know. I have seen your words shared over and over again. Your writing gives so much to the people who read.

Skye Harmony said...

Wonderful word and goal for your family in 2013! I need to work on that too... :)

Linda R said...

I agree with Kristin that many angels are disguised as tow truck drivers. I met mine about forty years ago when the engine in my VW sedan blew on the highway and the tow truck driver took me to his home and wife. While my husband at home made arrangements for the car, the driver took me to the bus depot so I could continue my trip to see my friend.

Although you have always been far more generous than you know, Anna, it's good to hear that can say you are at the point where you want to spread generosity. What a long way you have come, and how far you have brought us through your beautiful writing. Thank you.

Headless Mom said...

Oh Anna, you're so amazing. Yes, what you put out comes back multiplied.

Happy New Year, Sister!

Lisa said...

It's so true!!! A truth many people never learn!! The more love we give, the more love we have!! :)

Anonymous said...

The kindness of strangers....love this story. I'm so glad he was able to help you.

I'm reading The Happiness Project right now, and your words make the author's words further resonate. Happiness begets happiness--our own, others'....and a major component in increasing one's happiness is increasing one's generosity.

love,
jbhat

Arlene said...

Hi Anna,

We also need to know how to accept generosity graciously and not feel that we need to "pay back" the person. That's what I have a hard time with. I must remember that it does that person's heart good to help me when I need it and to just appreciate their kindness to me period.

I am very fortunate to have a Mom who has a mission to be kind to others. But like you, Anna, it's not as easy in our busy lives to take time to demonstrate generosity as often as we would like to. You are wise to intentionally move it up on your priority list so that you will hopefully seize those opportunities to be more generous. But as others have stated, you give generously of yourself every time you share your perspectives with us all. I appreciate your gift of stories and ponderings.


Salvimom said...

Dearest Anna,

This is a wonderful post. I am one of those people that has always gone out of my way for others. Sometimes I think I am generous to a fault. My thing is, 'how would I like to be treated, or how would I like someone to respond?' So I often help even when I'm on my last legs myself. It is an awesome feeling to help, and make someone feel good with your helping. Its a very amazing thing when that generosity is given back just as fiercely though. It always takes me by surprise and leaves me in amazement. From the man who bought diapers for my baby when I was struggling to count out change at the register to do so, to the coworker who gave me $100 when I was nearly penniless...it is so great to feel that you can fall into others arms and that they will catch you and set you right again. God Bless you and yours always.

Ury
Seattle, WA.

Recovering Church Lady said...

That is AMAZING! Seriously, I wish we could hear those kind of stories on the news or something! Just when you begin to feel that humanity is a mess, you hear something like this story! Thank you for sharing it, I needed to hear this!

Renee said...

wow... such a great story and a humble and generous man. There is good out there and it comes to good people like you and you will then return it to someone else. Now I need to figure out a word for the year as well.

Anonymous said...

Your post made my day! Thank you for sharing this - it's beautiful.

EatPlayLove said...

I'm sorry about Tim's car, but I truly love this post. It's so full of the beauty we need to see more often.

Kelly said...

Wow! What a beautiful testimony. I am in awe of Mike and his amazing wife. A lesson we could all stand to learn. Thank you for this message. You are such an inspiration to me and so many others. I promise you, Anna, I will do better.

Lady Courtney said...

You just gave!!! Very inspirational post! Thanks! donna :)

Marinka said...

There is so much that's going through my head right now (thoughts! Ouchy!) but it all basically boils down to: I love how you write.

I love Mike and his wife. And you and Tim. Great, now I'm filled with love for all humankind. Nothing good can come of that. xo

Amanda said...

Beautiful! I too have decided that each New Year should have a "theme" not a resolution.

amber said...

this is such a beautiful post it had me in tears. I highly recommend the children's book How to Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It's a simple book about generosity and spreading love and I think you'll be blessed by it's simple message. It goes right along with your word of the year.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful post. I think you give quite a bit through your gift of words. Thank you for sharing.

Sasha said...

Goosebumps. I just loved this.

Anonymous said...

Priceless, Anna. I was a bit envious when you announced your solo writer's retreat, could use one myself. I envisioned your experience several times over the subsequent days. My vision was nowhere close to reality. Thanks for your valuable reminder of all the goodness that surrounds us.

Amanda said...

Brilliant words...thanks for sharing thoughtful simple words that I could never put together myself, but seems to hit the nail right on the head. You make it so easy to 'feel' what you're saying...THANK YOU!

Kathi Laughman said...

The idea of generosity as a basic "who I am" attribute is so important. I believe you have expressed this really well. What we do is just a reflection of who we are. But we can start changing who we are by changing what we do. They work hand in hand when we genuinely want them to. Being generous with ourselves, with our most intimate circle and friends and ultimately with the world. It still all starts with the person. With me. A nice read to start my day. Thank you.

Beck said...

How ya doing, Anna? I remember over a year ago when Glennon posted about your tragic loss. We read about Jack then, and mourned with you. As a faithful Monkee, I was reading Glennons post today, and somehow stumbled back across your blog. Feeling a little guilty that I'd lost track of your blog and thus not offered up little bits of support and love, I was nonetheless pleased to "see" you again. To see that you've all survived this first year without your beloved Jack. I am sending you hugs, and love, and admiration for your strength and perseverance. Keep fighting the good fight.

Michelle said...

I think sometimes we forget that we're being generous because we think it's a chore. The fact that you write these blog posts that make many people's days a little brighter and share your painful moments so that we might learn is absolutely generous. It's a wonderful thing to strive for, but make sure to give yourself credit!

Cyndi said...

I am inspired, and I love your genuineness! I want to live in a world of this kind of generosity. And I want to have this generous spirit myself.

Anonymous said...

I too am not generous by nature, but am trying to change this by putting generosity into practice, both in giving and receiving. What you practice you get better at, right? Thank you for continuing to share so generously of your wisdom, compassion and vulnerability, Anna.

michele said...

gorgeous words, anna. loved each one.

hope you'll pop over when you have a moment, lovely blogger.

smiles to you.

michele

January Dawn said...

Anna - I know you believe that you`re more of a taker than a giver but I`d like to point out something that you may not realize...you give to us your words, your inner thoughts and emotions and with all of that you give your readers (I am a huge fan though I don`t believe I`ve commented here before) mucho inspiration. And that is kind of a big deal. So thank you for sharing those beautiful pieces of you Anna. I just love your blog. Happy New Year.

Jori said...

What a great post! I love the generosity the tow truck driver showed you!! What a wonderful example. I want to be more like that!!

jm2jmm said...

Thank you. I needed to read this post.

Anne Marie said...

This post warmed my heart. You've already given this year, to me. Thank you for your generosity.

Anonymous said...

absolutely love this. thank u. i vow to make 2013 a more generous year...

Kathy said...

Beautiful post!!! There are some really nice people in this world if we are open to them. All we ever hear about are the not so nice ones. Love your writing!!

Leslie said...

Oh Anna, thank you for this post. So much.

Though it's a fun little mental picture battle between thinking of nice Mike and his wife giving you their car for the week, and of you peeing in a cup. Don't worry, I forgive you. I needed both a story of generosity and a good laugh.

claire plante said...

Anna,

What a beautiful story. Reading it made my day so much better!

Thank you for sharing it, and for sharing all your thoughts and words in this blog. There is a generosity of spirit here which we have all seen and from which we have all benefitted.

Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way, as always!

Love,
Claire

Reenie said...

One of the things that gives me the most pleasure.... is giving.

What a beautiful couple Mike and his wife are.

macmac24 said...

What an awesome and timely post.
At 4:00am Thanksgiving morning my father suffered a spinal hemorrhage which resulted in a spinal cord injury/lower body paralysis. On Wed night (before Thanksgiving Thursday) my sisters and I (and our families) were gathered @ Mom and Dad's house, excited to be spending a festive Thanksgiving together. By 8:00am the next morning we were @ Baptist Hospital in Winston praying to God to spare our father's life.
This event has led to some pretty profound self reflection. I've asked myself in all the times I (think) I'm being so compassionate/helpful by taking food to someone sick, writing a card, etc. how much do I REALLY think about the recipient...Do I do what I do out of obligation/responsibility or true sincerity? This year, and forever more, I want to be a 'heart giver.'
Thanks again for sharing/GIVING your inspiring words....

Kara said...

Oh, Anna. You are one of the most giving people I know...or almost know, or whatever we call it in bloggy land. :) I needed this today, badly. I've been feeling blue, like 39 blue, like I have been reading way too much news blue...but this was Good News, and I'm so grateful. Also, cracking up thinking of you peeing in McDs cup - THAT takes talent, my friend! xo

Deborah D said...

Beautiful thoughts and we all should be looking for ways to be more generous.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is so lovely.

I tend to provide life coaching services to former students and I have friends ask me why I put that much time into people that aren't my own family. Because I am lucky and want to pay it forward is one reason, but the other is that it does come back many-fold.

ellen said...

There are lots of good souls in this world. And you are one of them.

Kelly said...

Chogyam Trungpa wrote and taught about Basic Goodness as something we all have in an endless supply and that we can give away to others in need (emotional, physical, spiritual, etc). Not necessary to be stingy even just breathing in the pain of others because our basic goodness is limitless. How perfect to look at generosity this way