Every night about 5PM I start to get really excited about my morning trip to the coffee shop. It apparently doesn't take much. So I woke up this morning with the over used brilliant plan to "pay" for someone else's coffee today. I say "pay" but really mean to give away my free drink card. I'm not sure if that counts as giving? I think if it costs me nothing and requires no sacrifice on my own part, is it still considered giving? It has to be right? I could reason that somewhere down the line (10 coffees to be exact) it would save me two dollars and sixty-five cents, but who's counting?
I arrive at the coffee shop, order my own coffee, and for some reason struggle to pay for someone else's latte. That's weird? So between the door and the counter I arrogantly decided that it would be far superior to buy a latte for someone and not use the free card, thus actually giving something. I pay for the latte and and ask the barista to give a latte to the next person who orders one. I question if I am being rude in assuming that she should assist me with my giving? It's my project, not hers, what if she doesn't give a pickenanny? But I don't ask her and lay the responsibility on her. I feel neither excited or as if I have done anything out of the ordinary, but I am happy to have my coffee.
I found myself thinking that I had done my deed and now I could get on with my day. I don't need to think about giving anymore until tomorrow, because today was covered. Then...I thought some more...trouble I tell you. If I am trying to cultivate a "lifestyle" of giving, then I am not off the hook for the rest of the day, just because I gave something. ugh. I had felt so free for a moment. I began wondering how I could give again today.
I went about my day, got home, got my mail, and noticed my roommates mail piling up in the mailbox. I left it there, because if he doesn't want his mail, then I don't care either. And then I thought again, a small act of bringing in his mail would be giving right? I will say however, that I put my nose up and highly didn't think it my responsibility, but fine, I did it. I brought the mail in and threw it on the table. Then.. as if to pour a whole gallon of salt on my arrogantly sliced open wound of pride, I noticed his dishes.
Strange how willing I am to help people that I am not close to, but.. if I happen to know your secrets, how you handle your time and money, and of course all the ways you could improve your choices, it is so much harder to give. Why is this? If I care so much for the people I am closest to, yet am so unwilling to give what I don't believe to be my responsibility, what am I? Who am I? That is a pretty ugly characteristic.
So although not my responsibility, (I like how I continue to clarify this point), I can give today by washing his dishes. Maybe he can't stand to wash dishes? or the soap gives his little fingers a rash? or maybe he just doesn't have time. I have the time. It doesn't cost me anything, and if anything it will chip away at some of my pride.
Lesson: You don't want your roommate to get a rash on his little fingers.