The Season is usually the reason for me to get disgusted with all the consuming--too much of EVERYTHING.
I'm not judging. I do it too.
But then comes word of the do-gooders, those who dance to the beat of their inner drummers drumming. It compels them to toss something other than a random handful of coins in the Salvation Army donation kettle. They drop in gold coins and diamond rings. They include cryptic notes. Sometimes the heavy-handed donations are memorials. Other times, they seem to be odes to survival. They list off their bad luck, but they say something to the effect that, despite all that has befallen them, they know there's always someone who is more needy.
The gold coin trick isn't a new one. They've documented it for the last 25 years. And for as many years as I've been a spectator, these sweet little mysteries has been breaking my heart in a good way.
But here's the rub: I shouldn't remain a spectator--someone who gets all choked up when someone else does good.
I should be doing good.
I often tell myself the following lie: I'm poor. I'm broke. I have no insurance and medical bills. I have student loans.
Technically, those are truths, but the lie part has to do with a sensibility that, because I cannot donate BIG, I should not donate at all.
What I'm learning is a new math:
Big donations can create big change, but small donations can create...big change.
I also seem to operate under a double-Dutch mentality. I'm the kid watching the rope turn and am unsure when to jump in. I'm waiting for the RIGHT moment when, in fact, NOW or ANY TIME is the right moment.
Do you believe in omens? Signs?
In addition to the "treasure in the red kettle" signs, this week I witnessed two more Random Acts of Kindness (RAK):
1.) Yesterday, I made a trip to my local drive-thru coffee hut. I ordered my usual and then waited with my credit card and frequent drinker punch card. The barista handed me my coffee and motioned to a gentleman waiting at the other hut window. She said, "HE paid for your coffee." I was shocked. Puzzled. A bit uncomfortable, I thanked him. He shrugged and mouthed, "Have a nice day." I felt as if I was going to burst into tears. Seriously.
2.) In Spokane, the news has been covering the story of woman out walking her dog, when the dog was attacked by 2 pitbulls. Nightly, I've been subjected to graphic video of the attack, which includes the owner and her friend pummeling the pitbulls to get them to let go of the tiny dog. Eventually the dog did let go, but not before it killed the woman's dog. I wept. I wept for the woman and her trauma and loss. I wept for the pitbull, who didn't get that violent on its own. I wept for all the pitbulls in the world who will wear that Albatross around their necks and be subject to hatred and discrimination because of the actions of a handful of bad apples (or more likely, bad owners). I wept because my dog rested at my side, chewing mindlessly on a bone. That could have been me walking my dog. The epilogue, though, is that a woman whose Yorki just had a litter of puppies offered the victim dog owner one of the litter.
And then I resolved:
Before December 25, I will pay it forward because progress isn't necessarily about quantity. It's about one. And one. And one. It's a simple math--that and momentum.