Living Generously!

I sidled sideways through the thick throng crowded into the warm drinking establishment. Laughter joined the voices raised above the bedlam of the room. Cheerfulness seemed to be the emotion of the day. An unaware person would think the reason of such a gathering on this bitterly cold winter afternoon must be the celebration of a very happy occasion. A birthday? A wedding? A retirement? But this was not a party for any of those reasons. Instead, this was a gathering to raise funds that would give a single mother a bit of relief knowing that her funeral service fees would be taken care of. These festivities might also enable a woman and her young daughter to enjoy a small vacation before their short time left together would be over. This was not a party…this was a fundraiser. An opportunity to help someone in need.

But this was not a day about the deep sadness of a heartbreaking diagnosis. Although many times eyes exchanged looks full of pain, this instead was a day about the empathy and generosity of a community of caring people. Many attending the event didn’t know the recipients or even the family. Many that gave so effortlessly only knew that someone in their community was in need, and in this way they could make a difference. They could help. Donations towards the cause had poured in from the entire area, so many showing the act of human kindness. Kindness is a strong emotion, and it was very much in evidence in that crowded room.

Just the night before, I also had felt that special emotion of generosity and kindness, but in a very different setting, but still it had been in a room filled with jovial laughter. One of the big differences was this large room held the aroma of rich, spiced foods, and the sweet scent of fruit covered yummy desserts sprinkled with sugar and tasty wines. Tables were adorned with fancy tablecloths and food morsels from many area restaurants. Samples for all of the attendees. Volunteers cleared tables while musicians filled the air with sound. Despite the differences of the two events there was a common cause. Both were fundraisers. This fundraiser was to raise money to feed many unable to feed themselves and provide services needed to survive, many times through no fault of their own. Both were held to help others not as fortunate as we were at the moment. And both were examples of our ability to give of ourselves to help others.

There are so many acts of kindness shown every day. Many are not as evident as the examples I have already mentioned. Sometimes, it can be as small as a smile to a stranger we pass in the street. A smile that may be the only good thing to happen to that person that day. Other times it is a enigmatic donation that helps thousands. Many times the giving is quiet and anonymous but loudly touching many lives. Sometimes it is a donation of time which is so very valuable in its own way. Even some with little time or money to give still find a way to do so.

I want to believe that most people are giving. That we live in a world of very generous, loving people that truly care. It is a world that is good to live in, to be a part of. It is a world that can help make us want to be better people. Just look around, the evidence of this is all around!

Originally published in Bottom Line News & Views, February 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.*