I remain fascinated by the connection of happiness to giving. Recently, I blogged about a New York Times article that suggested that happiness is greater when spending money on another than oneself (Dan Learns What Hannah Lives, August 18, 2012). Hannah and I recently watched Pay It Forward (with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment) again, which shows the exponential power of giving. Then coincidentally our minister Marlayna mentioned Cami Walker’s book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.
Really? Change my life? My life is pretty sweet right now, but I’m game. Being the organized sort, I know I need a plan to give 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami (it’s like we’re old buds) goes through her day without planning her daily giving. Hmmm. So if I am open, the universe will provide me with opportunities? Well, hello universe. Here I come. Cami’s mentor Mbali says, Give your gifts with an open heart without any expectation that you will receive anything in return. Mbali believes that the ritual gathers momentum by giving every day. Translation: Have faith Danny, my boy, have faith.
Doing things on consecutive days does appeal to me. When I was new to teaching writing at Somersworth Middle School (NH), I thought it important that I write myself. I bought a journal and wrote daily. Over one stretch I wrote for 2000+ consecutive days (that’s more than five years!) to establish in my own mind that I was a writer.
Earlier today Hannah and I wrote a check to our daughter Robyn for her birthday. Obviously that’s a gift, but to me that’s not in the spirit of this experience since it’s already a regular part of our lives. I’m ready to see what new opportunities are out there, especially with gift giving now in my frontal lobe.
For 29 days, I will post three paragraphs on my gift for that day. Over the next few weeks my blog will be posted daily rather than just on Saturday mornings. Sunday I’ll report on Day 1, Monday Day 2, and so on.