Modeling Unexpected Generosity

Not having a car has led me to greatly rely on others. Right after my car died, I assumed I would be taking public transportation and walking everywhere I went – but things have turned out very differently.

My friends and loved ones have been giving me rides and loaning me their cars. And no, not because I have asked. They have offered these things. And they’ve done even more than offer – they’ve insisted! Even when I’ve protested, said it’s way too generous of them and I couldn’t put them out like that, they have stood their ground and forced their generosity on me.

This experience has surprised me to say the least. While I have always thought the best of people, and believe people to be naturally giving and generous, this has far exceeded my expectations. I am incredibly grateful.

Which makes me think… if the tables were turned, would I be so generous? I’m not sure how I would have felt before. But I can tell you for sure that I will in the future. I’ll remember the place I was at and remember how I felt toward those who insisted that I accept their generosity. I’ll know that my friend isn’t expecting me to be generous, but because it will help her so much, I’ll do it.

The unexpected generosity I’ve been experiencing is going to go far. It’s going to go farther than just me. I will keep it going and it’s sure to spread like wildfire. Because once you have a taste of unexpected generosity, you can never get enough.


What I Learned from My Garage Sale

We had a garage sale on Saturday and got rid of a bunch of stuff. It was so much stuff it filled my station wagon to the brim. And while garage sales aren’t exactly intellectually stimulating, I did come away with some lessons learned.

  • Friends are everywhere. There were a few people I struck up a conversation with. There was a girl looking for skirts that go past her knee because she is going on a missions trip to Malawi. There was a gentleman with three grandkids who was looking for CDs for them. Striking up conversation with them made everything feel more natural and we all enjoyed the experience – even though it was something as unexciting as a garage sale. There are some great people out there!
  • Everyone needs to pay it forward more often. A girl with her grandma was shopping around and bought some of my things. When they were on their way out, she asked how much a pen was.  I responded, “You can have it for free, you guys have bought plenty of other things.” Her jaw dropped. She was shocked. “For FREEE???” She could not believe her ears. It was something so small that ended up meaning a lot to her. Her disbelief that someone might be paying it forward struck me. I can’t wait for the time we’re grateful but not taken aback by a small gesture of generosity.
  • Garage sales can mean more than meets the eye. I definitely had my own Toy Story 3 moment. As you may or may not know, I had a thing for pigs when I was growing up. Consequently I have approximately 23,498 pig items. Needless to say I could get rid of some of them. I was setting everything out when a woman asked how much one of them is. She mentioned that her daughter is having a pig party. I was thrilled! I scooped up every pig item I own, including eight pairs of socks (those are just the ones I could part with), and sold it all to her for $8. More than the cash I was so happy my pigs went to another young girl’s enjoyment!!

I am definitely instituting an annual garage sale tradition. There’s no reason to keep my things that I don’t use when there are plenty of people who desperately need them. I encourage you to do the same!!