09 July 2013

Love, goodwill and kindness

Part of my original plan for My Year of Giving Daily, as laid out on Jan. 1, was not only to give to charity everyday, but to change my relationship with money. I wanted to see what would happen if I loosened the purse strings a little bit.

There have been times when I’ve looked at my bank account and seen that it’s lower than it was this time last year and, for a second, I’ve worried. But then I realize I’m absolutely fine today and I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences I’ve had this year to have the money back.

Such was the case this weekend. On Friday night, a friend called and offered me a ticket to a show I wanted to see in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The ticket was free, but I had to get myself there and put myself up. I’ve always been fairly spontaneous, but this year I’ve really taken situations where I may have dismissed the opportunity out of hand because it was inconvenient or cost money and, instead, tried to make them work out. 

So I looked at flights for the next day and they were a tad pricey, especially given that it was July 4th weekend. I thought about driving, but was worried about my car overheating in the middle of  summer. I called my mechanic and asked if I could bring in my car to get it checked out before I left on Saturday morning. They said sure. Then I went on hotels.com and found a room on the Strip for less than $100 at a hotel I’d stayed at before and knew what I’d be getting for my money. 

I hopped in my car, drove to Vegas, went to the show, spent some good time with some buddies, and drove back on Sunday. I wasn’t thrilled with being caught in major traffic snafus because of holiday traffic, but that was my only possible complaint about the 24-hour last minute adventure. 

When I look back at this year so far, some of my favorite events have been totally spontaneous, “just say yes” adventures that are an unplanned extension of Causes & Effect.

So today’s $10, as part of Chooseday Tuesday, goes to my friend Tracy, who called me on Friday with the ticket. To thank her, I asked her to pick a charity and I’d make the donation in her name. She wanted me to pick any hunger charity. She lives in Nashville, so I picked Loaves and Fishes, a program administered by Catholic Charities of Tennessee, that serves means to the homeless and downtrodden year-round. More than 3,000 volunteers work with the organization throughout the year to feed the hungry. Food banks continue to serve a vital need as the jobless recovery continues, and yet so many of the food banks have fallen on tremendously hard times themselves. Loaves and Fishes is just one of CC of Tennessee’s programs in its endeavor to spread, as it website says, “acts of love, goodwill, and kindness.”  I love that phrase. What is every action I undertook was one of love, goodwill, and/or kindness? I wonder if I could make it through the day? That would mean no talking bad about anyone or gossiping, thinking of others instead of myself in every action. Wow, that's a tall order. Maybe I’ll try that and report back. 

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