On July 4, my wife and I decided to take a day trip. Without the kids! We drove to Long Beach Island, NJ with no specific agenda. The drive was scenic and our first stop was at a restaurant named Sojo’s for breakfast.
Upon entering the facility, I headed to the restroom with my sunglasses hooked to my shirt. As I reached for the cold flush handle, my Aviator’s dove right into the pool and vanished! A flawless down-the-toilet experience. Literally.
For a moment, I was teary-eyed. This was the second pair of shades I had unintentionally parted with in 2 years. Came back to our table and explained to my wife what happened. We only had a few hours to ourselves and I couldn’t afford to taint them with my emotions. Later, we bumped into some of our friends and the rest of the day was pleasant. Needless to say, my eyes received a dose of Vitamin D good enough for the rest of this summer!
A day later, I was getting ready to mow the lawn and my shades have always been a perfect companion for this weekly affair. Tom, my neighbor spotted me and walked over. He had a pair of shades on and at some point during our conversation, I shared my story. Tom mentioned that the pair he was sporting was specifically for yard work and where to find them.
In the next breath, he handed me his pair of shades and said “Keep these.” I was moved by his generosity and comfortably mowed the lawn.
I couldn’t stop thinking of Tom’s kindness and shared with many folks what an amazing neighbor I have found in Tom.
A critical aspect that glazed this episode is Tom’s listening skills. He paid enough attention to understand I lost something and that I need an immediate replacement to accomplish a task. Safely.
In this world where the relevance of philanthropy is becoming directly proportional to the number of zeroes in the amount donated, it’s important to be constantly reminded of its real meaning. Giving from the heart and the impact it has on the recipient.
Through giving, irrespective of what, we become a part of someone’s story. Our world expands, too. Changing the world becomes real when we sow into the lives of others and leave a legacy.
It doesn’t take a lot to be a giver. The effect of Tom’s gesture will remain with me for a very long time.
Who is thy neighbor?