Today’s gift is a no brainer. I bring a couple of brews to share with our neighbor who recently lost his wife. I’m a fair to middling neighbor but not excellent or even, truth be told, very good. I tried rallying the neighborhood by throwing a party for our cat Sadie just to get us all together. It bombed. Rather than going big, perhaps one small step will do more to build my local community.
I pack up two bottles of Stella Artois in our cooler and walk over to our neighbor who is just starting life without his wife of nearly 50 years. In case he isn’t there I write him a note, Just stopped by with two beers. I’ll see you soon. Dan. And it turns out he’s not in so I leave the beers in a smaller cooler for him to find. But I quickly realize that that doesn’t take anything away from this gift. This gift is not about me (i.e., feeling good, virtuous, or altruistic about reaching out). He’ll have a brew when he comes home and know someone is thinking of him. Though I anticipated some time together, I like this first effort and feel Cami Walker, author of 29 Gifts, would say, Well done Danny boy. You got off your duff and did something. Doing beats thinking about doing. Keep the faith and give tomorrow.
On the way home, with Hannah out for evening, I decide to share the salad that a friend made for me with our son Will. A modest gift to be sure, but under G for gift in my book. I don’t want to just give it to him; I want it to be something we share. Amazing how half a salad tastes just as good as a whole salad. Maybe better. Maybe opportunities for gift giving have been under my nose all the time?