Day 217: A Not-Insignificant Perk of Being Generous

A few months ago I made a little donation to the Sacramento Public Library. You know, not a whole lot, but I had started setting aside some money into a “Give” fund, and, to me, the local library is a worthy recipient! So I did a little online donation.

Then I did it again, and then two more last month. I didn’t think much of it, except that it felt good to be giving to the library, an institution that I have always appreciated and have at times in my life made extensive use of. I shared the fact of my library giving to a few others, but felt a little goofy after people repeatedly joked that they also give to the library… by paying late fines! (Funny enough, I had never considered this a form of giving… instead, I considered it an unacceptable punishment, and something I always avoided… but I am Mr. Punctual!) Anyway, I didn’t let the light derision take me off course, so I have continued the giving.

A few nights ago I got a very unexpected, pleasant surprise: A call from a volunteer at the library thanking me for my donations! I had NEVER received a call like this from anybody! It almost felt as if, by my small act of generosity, a brand new world of possibility had opened up: the possibility of other people giving thanks… to me 🙂 Wow, what a concept! It helps me understand the giving spirit in a brand new way. And I must say, I like it!

In addition to the nice call, yesterday I received a letter in the mail (yes, a letter… in the mail! Granted, still a form letter of sorts) once again thanking me for my donation. Holy moly! I thought. So this is how the other side lives! People who are extraordinarily generous with their time and money, and who receive thanks from people.

Again, what a concept!

It may seem like a small thing, but a little click has gone off in my head. I’m liking this giving thing. I’m liking what it gives back to me. This is a not-insignificant perk of being generous, even in this modest way: A sense of my own capacity to make a difference for others and at least earn their appreciation to take the time to send me a note and make a call.

I’ll take it!

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