Friday, December 24, 2010

A Path of Generosity - Something Santa Told Me

As I do this work in the less fortunate neighborhoods of Los Angeles I am constantly inspired by those who have so little and yet who walk a path of generosity and love. Jeiser, our young intern at YMC, took a big step on that path yesterday. When I got to my desk and saw the small envelope with a Christmas card inside and inside the card was a $5 gift card for the “Food for Less” store. The card simply read “thank you Tony for everything you do for me”. Then the buzz around the office started. Jeiser had left similar cards for everyone. There were some who said “We can’t accept these. He can’t afford this!” However, when somebody gives you something, you rob them of their giving if you don’t receive it openly. So in receiving Jeiser’s gift we honor him and complete the flow of giving and receiving.

Jeiser, Derrion, Allisha
and George (Jeiser's Mentor)
Some were simply moved to tears by his simple act. Spontaneously a collection was taken up to give back to Jeiser. My first thought was that we should just accept his gift and honor this spiritual practice that he had found. But then I realized that he had simply stepped into the flow and that’s how it happens: a small act of generosity begets another and the flow of giving and receiving envelopes us all.  I am reminded of how much joy it gives Jeiser when he does a task around the office that helps someone else. I’ll catch him sneaking a peak at me when I go in the kitchen just to see my reaction to his spotless cleaning of the coffee machine because he knows that gives me pleasure. So, today Jeiser is our teacher. For the next few days as my family and friends gather and gifts are exchanged I will set aside concerns for a consumer culture (plenty of time to pick those back up later) and just give witness to the joy that giving brings to those who give.
There are those who give with joy,
and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain,
and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving,
nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley
the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks,
and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

Kahlil Gibran

peace and blessings,


PS Boojie (who came up with the title for this blog) would like to add that "giving feels better than getting"!
Boojie the wise

1 comment:

Tony said...

love the title!!!
great job boojie!