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TIME Was...Getting (Starts With) Giving

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Getting (Starts With) Giving



I've been doing a lot of cleaning up the past to make room for the future;

both on the inside and with the external world.


This process has been ongoing for a while now as I left the automotive synthetic world

as a developer and transitioned into the Internet world as the Founder of MWGBC.

Internally, I have had to adjust to a completely different lifestyle - a new neighborhood,

new friends, and a lot less "things."

  • My most important material possession these days is by far my old PC or PC's.


However, I used to have a lot of stuff and it seems that whenever I have moved,

I move the stuff around and downsize (i.e. get rid of stuff) at the same time I am moving stuff

and evaluating if its worth the time and energy to transport it somewhere else

versus alternative means of disposal.

I hate to throw out things that other people may be able to use.

If I see other people throwing stuff out that could be used by others,


I try to get it into the hands of people who could use it.

... It has become almost a hobby of "mine".


Recently, Storeboard opened a sales office and I used it as opportunity

to get rid of more of my things.


Well, to be honest also of products I use to sell & behind I am standing also

100% convinced they can help and be very useful.

So, I also forced myself to go through all my books and things

and set a limit as to how many I could keep.


This resulted in about 4 crates of books and clthes to be given away.

I was almost going to bring them to the Salvation units,

but then I just decided to put them on the sidewalk with a sign saying:

"Free Books, PC's & Clothes"

For about 3-4 days these articles continued to dissappear like bird feed on a bird feeder.

I couldn't wait to check on the crates every few hours.


I reminisced about all the people scurrying home to read their books

and their growing knowledge.


I shunned the thought that these people would just put them on a shelf

and never look at the things they got at ever again.

  • Researchers at Berkley conducted a study which confirms that 
  • giving makes people happy.


In one famous study, people were givin between $5 and $20 with a note to half

to use it to buy something for themself or their family and the other half to give it away

to someone who could use it.


After this process with hundreds of people,

researchers found that the group that gave away the money was much happier about giving.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_make_giving_feel_good


"This experiment suggests that spending as little as five dollars to help someone else

can increase your own happiness.

Similarly, in a representative sample of more than 600 people,

the amount of money individuals devoted to themselves was unrelated to their overall happiness;

what did predict happiness was the amount of money they gave away:

  • The more they invested in others, the happier they were.


This relationship between prosocial spending & happiness held up

even after taking into account individual's income."


I did the same thing with about a stated above 4 bags of clothes & things &

even stood on the sidewalk as the people passed acting as a barker encouraging

them to overcome their natural embarrasment about picking through bags of clothes.

Eventually, all the other things like clothes were given away also. Ahhh . . . another conquest!


What did I get for my efforts which consisted of being faced with these things I no longer needed

and hatching a plan to get them into other people's hands who can use them?

  • I felt good.


I felt really good - more than buying anything for myself,

more than Storeboard having a great day of traffic

(that's not true! :) Just seeing if you are paying attention!) ,

and seriously just a very good overall feeling of well being.


But there is one last part to this story.

I got up this morning and started this morning a little walk and being tired & low energized
and behold I saw a porter readying a black leather/pleather chair for the garbage pick-up.

It was exactly the type of chair I would have purchase from Staples or Metro

for about Euros 100 give or take (and it was assembled - priceless!).

I asked the porter if he was throwing it out and he said yes and I told him I'll take it

and I'll return in ten minutes.

Well I got it and here it is:

It has some deterioration in the back but nothing that a little black duct tape can't handle

(in my new state of austerity I can't tell you how much I value duct tape

and how many various colors I have discovered it in!).

  • I can't get over how life works - when you give you get!

A friend of mine who is very generous told me that "getting starts with giving."

And I see it all the time. We sow what we reap. This just confirmed it.


As I was putting the car into my trunk, I didnt' see the Porter and I was thinking to myself

"well anyone could have taken it and the Porter wasn't really watching it at all.

I am going to save Euro 5 because I was going to give him a tip and now I don't have to

(crazy how I think - notice: I am not saying "we")."


Well, suddenly, the Porter came out from the basement

& stood next to me as I was putting the final touches on securing the trunk with a bungee cord

and I thought to myself "  hmmm . . . ahaaa he is here for his tip."

[ notice the natural tendency to not want to give and to hold onto things

even though I am writing this blog about giving! Remarkable :) ]


Then I proceeded to tell the Porter my little story about giving away the clothes,

books and things and how I just found this chair.


"I" then said a remark about "God" and how he gives us what we need.


Then I handed the Euro 5 ( living in Europe as you may know by now ) to the Porter

and after my little story and mentioning God,

he felt uncomfortable about taking the money (who wouldn't have?) and said:

"no, no that's ok."


But after two deflections with his hand, I saw his pocket and stuffed the 5 Euro bill in it.

He said "thank you."

And before he left I took off my glove and asked the Porter his name and this is true.

! He responded: "Angel"!

 
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