Are you unemployed and want something inspiring to do for the next seven days? Well, I have a solution for you! Become a Kindness Investor and give $10 away every day to a new stranger for a week and then share your experiences here on the Year of Giving. I need someone to start tomorrow!!! So please email me today if you or someone you know are up for this amazing experience.
On Day 353 I went over to Books for America, a great nonprofit bookstore that I have frequented for several years. As I was purchasing the book I decided to give my money $10 to someone working there. Two of the clerks that I mentioned it to both pointed toward a guy slouched down behind a computer off to the side of the register. “He could certainly use the cash,” one of the clerks said pointing toward Adam who had by now stood up and made his way over to the counter.
I gave him the $10 and he thanked me and said, “I can definitely use it.” I asked if I could jot down a couple of notes and he invited me outside to talk to him while he smoked a cigarette.
Adam grew up in Maine and attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. “I studied Liberal Arts – what do you do with that?” he rhetorically asked. Well, he ended up working at Books for America and told me, “This is the best job ever.” Adam picks up donations of books around the city and brings them to the store where they are resold at lower than market prices.
“I one time went to pick up some books from this lady’s house and when I got there she was so upset about parting with her books that in the end I recommend that she hold on to them and think about,” Adam told me. “I mean, books can mean a lot to people and I want the person to be comfortable with the donation, otherwise it’s not good for them or us.” I don’t recall if the woman ever called back for Adam to get the books or not.
Adam, who is very thankful to be employed now told me, “The thing that really sucks about being unemployed is having to tell your friends and people from high school that you are ‘in between jobs’ when they ask what you are doing.” This never really bothered me when I was out of work, but I know a lot of people have shared this same comment with me.
Adam shared an amazing personal story of giving with me. When he was in high school he and some buddies decided to buy some strangers breakfast. Their simple altruistic act of kindness lived on for years without them knowing it; until recently when he happened to be visiting one of the same friends that was with him that morning and they received a very unexpected phone call. Check out the entire story…
My favorite part of his story is, “Her gratitude was so much greater than our generosity in the moment.” That is beautiful. It just goes to show you that sometimes the little things you do mean a lot more to others around you.
By the way, the 28-year-old’s ten dollars are going to be handed to a bartender at the Big Hunt in exchange for a few “Bad Ass Amber beers.”