Her name is Jayne T., and as it was my first day being a Kindness Investor. I couldn’t have asked for a more interesting subject.
My name is Mike and I am honored to be a Kindness Investor. While reading Reed’s daily blog through the year, it made me think about what I consider “giving”. It wasn’t a life changing thinking, but more of a subtle difference. I consider myself a genuinely normal guy and will help a fellow human being out as much as I can “till the cows come home” as my father would say. But to read Reed’s daily outpouring of kindness, I, like many others, couldn’t help but be inspired. So when the chance to follow in his footsteps was asked, it was a no-brainer for me. I too, am unemployed, and have been for 18 months, but due to some long-term planning and some luck, I still have a roof over my head and am able to put food on the table. So when the opportunity arose to give back, like I said, it was plain and simple. I was doing it.
So today starts my week and as I told Reed I would do it back in December, I had a good amount of time to prepare for it. I thought a good way to at least start a conversation with someone, was to follow Reed’s lead and come in with a business card. So a couple of drafts later, I came up with this.
I was in Middletown, Connecticut this morning mailing something at the Post Office and was looking for that right person to be my first recipient. No one at the Post Office seemed right and so it was on to my next stop, getting a cup of coffee at a place on Main Street in Middletown called Brew Bakers. An interesting side note (to me anyway) was the day before I was to start my week, I came across not one, but two people I would have felt right at least trying to give the $10 away to. But I didn’t, as I was monetarily ready to start the next day and had $3 on me when having a conversation with both of them!
So I stopped at Brew Bakers, got a cup and sat down and surveyed the place. They have a pretty busy lunch crowd as they offer some good soups and sandwiches as well as their coffee bar. I noticed several people by themselves and decided Jayne was the one.
She was sitting on a couch in the back part of the place, reading a book and enjoying her coffee. When I approached her, it was a friendly voice that said, “Sure, I’ll listen to your request for help with a project.” We had quite the conversation and a few hours later, we just about closed the place which was just open for breakfast and lunch.
She was excited about receiving the $10 and when asked what she would do with it, she immediately said “Pay it Forward.” She’s a unique person and very interesting conversationalist. When asked where she was from, her reply was, “from her mother.” As for her occupation, she was at first apprehensive about telling me, saying it wasn’t easy to describe. But eventually she said, “What I do is invite people into my life with whom I am able to share my passion for caring for others and creating and finding places for people to play music, who might not otherwise have a place to play.” She herself is a musician who plays guitar.
She is also an advocate for people in her words, who “need some caring, such as veterans, people with mental health issues or disabilities”.
We talked about quite a number of topics and I would say that I hope all my recipients are as giving as her. She even wanted to help me in my job search as well! I asked her if she needed anything for the Lend a Hand portion on the blog and after much thought and consideration, she said she is looking for us all to be a more caring society, to act on that caring (not just talk about it) and not to forget the seniors in our lives.
We both left the place at the same time and agreed to keep in touch. What a way to start my week! Can’t wait till tomorrow.