“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ ”
— Mary Anne Radmacher
but not here. Well, not like I wanted. I had hoped to do more, but I wasn’t brave enough.
Let me explain.
I was given $50 cash at Christmas. That General Grant had been sitting in my wallet for a month and a half, waiting for an opportunity to be used. Nothing seemed appropriate. After all, it was a gift and I’d like to use it for something special.
It occurred to me this morning that maybe I could somehow use that for Generosity Day. So, on my way back from dropping the kids off at school, I pulled into my local Starbucks with the intent on paying for someone’s coffee. Right as I walked up, about nine people walked in ahead of me. Cowardly, I slunk back to my car making excuses to myself about not having time to wait.
After helping my wife with a pink pancake breakfast for the kids, I stopped by the bank on my way to work. Sitting in the bank’s drive-up teller lane, I realized that I could give a Starbucks card to the teller. But, I didn’t have any with me. Instead, I wrote a quick note thanking her for her courtesy and sent it back in the tube.
Now, determined to get some Starbucks cards, I stopped at another outlet of the ubiquitous bean retailer. I bought ten, five dollar cards. I would hand them out to people I saw, even strangers. Excellent idea. Now, how can I implement it?
I thought about it all day. I pondered it while missing opportunities to give them to friends. I thought about it while I was searching for a Valentine’s Day present for my wife. I even thought about it after I pulled the car over and pledged a few dollars to public radio in the spirit of Generosity Day.
But at nine o’clock this evening, while sitting on the couch, I still had ten cards. I knew it wasn’t really a failure, because my intentions were good, and there’s always tomorrow. But it wasn’t really a success either. No excuses, just a lack of … well, courage.
Then, an idea struck me. I wonder if my neighbors would like to wake up to a coffee courtesy of our family. I counted the cards again. Just enough to give everyone in the neighborhood a coffee.
Finally motivated, courageous, and with my wife’s help cutting hearts, I made up a simple heart envelope, wrote a note on it, stuffed the cards in, taped it up and hung the hearts on all my neighbors’ doors. Assuming a heart burglar isn’t prowling tonight, the paper handles hold, it doesn’t rain sideways, and a giant gust of wind doesn’t come along, my neighbors will get a small something from our family in the morning.
It wasn’t courageous and I didn’t make any new connections with people, but it was something.
Tomorrow, I’ll try to give with intention again. I’ll try to make another connection. I’ll try to give my time as best I can.
In the meantime, maybe a little free coffee will brighten up the neighborhood.
Kudos to Sasha Dichter and the entire Generosity Day team for having the “heart” to make Valentine’s Day better! I tried to be generous.