A Random Act of Financial Kindness

MichaelBeliefs, Giving, Misc12 Comments

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I thought this would be a fun post to write – finding a random act of financial kindness always put a smile on my face.

Like a lot of my readers, I really enjoy giving back.  Whether it’s donating time, money, or a simple prayer or intention for someone else – it feels great.

However, not everyone agrees with this philosophy (I’m not judging), but check this story out…

What’s In It For Me?

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I once knew this kid that was always trying to “game the system”.  He was always looking out for himself and figuring out how he could extract the best result, from the least amount of effort.

For example, he would join a high school service club in “exchange” for extracurricular recognition to add to his college applications.

As an overachiever, he thought he had it all figured out.

Give to Receive?  It’s Worth an Experiment.

The good thing about this young man was that he was hungry for knowledge and read voraciously.  He knew he wanted to get a head in life and couldn’t help but notice a common theme in most of the wealth books he read – the more you give, the more you will receive.

Of course he knew this concept already intellectually, but he wasn’t really practicing it.

So one day, he made a decision to take action and started giving regularly to a couple philanthropic organizations that caught his attention.  He of course kept checking his bank balances weekly, but it didn’t seem like they were getting any fatter.  But, he kept up with it and eventually forgot about it.

If You Do Something Long Enough, It Just Might Become A Part Of You

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Then something funny happened.

10 years passed by and he woke up one day realizing that he didn’t need to play games anymore.  He had become financially free just shy of 30 years old.  He was overcome with a huge sense of gratitude and began to truly understand the meaning of “giving” from a place of love, and expecting nothing in return.

All facets of his life began to fall into place and success seemed a way of life.

No Coincidence

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A few years later, he was out-of-town working on a real estate deal.  It ends up he needed to liquidate some furniture from a property he was selling, but only had a couple of days to complete this. After selling 70% of the items on Craigslist, he found himself stuck at the end of the second day with a brand new couch and dining room set he’d purchased 8 months ago.

He decided go out and get some gas while he figured out what to do next, but before he even arrived at the gas station, BANG!!!  a car rear-ended him from behind.

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Luckily, it was a pretty low impact accident (no injuries), but he certainly wasn’t happy about having his new Audi hit!

Both parties pulled over to the side and the girl at fault seemed to be confused.  At first she started to make a couple of excuses… and then suddenly – she stopped.  She admitted fully that she was distracted as she was a new resident moving into the neighborhood and having a really bad day.

There was an obvious dent and scratch alongside the bumper, but mainly it was cosmetic.

So, they exchanged numbers and the girl requested to make the repairs outside of insurance as she was having a hard time financially.

The young man agreed and they went on their ways.

An Open Heart Emerges

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For some reason, the young man remembered seeing a video clip on “paying it forward” where you simply pay for the car behind you in a drive thru.  It was a totally unexpected way to give back in a fun way.

Anyhow, this young man thought about how the other driver was feeling.  She was probably terrified, upset, and really beating herself up.  And yet, when it really came down to it, it was an accident.  So, the young man thought, “what are the chances that I was just rear-ended by someone who was literally moving into the neighborhood, while he was moving out?”

So, a couple days later, he dialed the girl back that hit him.  She immediately, said “Wow, that was fast!” “Yes, I suppose it is,” he replied.  “But, I’m not calling to give you an estimate for the damage.”

“I’m calling to see if you’d like a brand new leather couch and dining room set since you’re moving into the neighborhood.”

SILENCE

“Hello?”

“Uhh, yes.  Oh my gosh!  Are you for reals??”  “You’re kidding right?” she exclaimed.

“Nope, just thought you needed a little break.  Maybe you can return the favor one day,” he replied.

“THANK YOU SO MUCH!!” she screamed with delight.

What’s the Moral of this Story?

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We always have the ability to give, no matter who we once were (or thought we were).  The young man not only got rid of his furniture and solved his problem, but was able to turn someone else’s shitty day upside down into an incredible windfall of relief, joy, and disbelief.  Who knows what the actual ripple effect of his kindness was that day.

Life is short.

Take some time to enjoy the simpler things in life.  While we don’t have control over everything in life, we do have 100% control on how we perceive our world.  If you look hard enough, you can find beauty or fun in the worst possible situations.

There will always be someone who has less than you and who is in need – spread kindness.

Give and you will receive.  Maybe not in the manner that you expect, but it will come back to you in droves.  Try it and you’ll see.  🙂

 

Readers, have you ever witnessed a fun or cool random act of kindness?  Who benefited more?  The person giving, or the person receiving?

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Michael

Hi, I have been blessed to take an early retirement in my mid-30's so I can focus on becoming a better father, blogger, and investor.

My goal is to help you find your personal path to financial freedom, and to enjoy the entire journey.

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12 Comments on “A Random Act of Financial Kindness”

  1. Awesome story Michael! It is always a great choice to make a difference in someone’s life! It doesn’t even take money or physical goods…Just be kind to everyone. Everyone has so much going on in life..Be understanding when things happen, not a jerk. Kindness can go a long way in improving someones life.

    1. You’re absolutely right Thias. Sometimes it can be the littlest of things that make all the difference. Kindness is free to give, but priceless to those receiving it. 🙂

  2. What a touching story this was. I have always been a big fan of charity and I don’t think I do enough of it. There’s a small food vendor from whom I regularly buy a couple of corn cobs on a daily basis and I usually overpay him (as a tip) and one day, when I was short of change, he didn’t charge me at all. Of course, he needed the money more than I did, but it’s true. What goes around comes around..or keeps going around (in the case of ‘pay it forward)

    1. Fehmeen, that’s a great story too and a fine example of the law of reciprocity. I’ve been trying to tip better recently (especially since having kids) as I’ve come to really appreciate the extra luxury of someones’ genuine care and service. As you said, what goes around comes around!

  3. Awesome story Michael!

    When I used to work in Downtown Los Angeles – I would always see homeless people around. One thing I tried to do whenever I went out to lunch was to save some so I could give it to a homeless person. I was pretty cheap so I didn’t go out that much, but it’s nice to know I help someone for one day.

    1. Thanks for sharing Vic! Los Angeles is a great place to give no matter how big or small. I’m sure they greatly appreciate your efforts.

      I’m a big fan of feeding the homeless and providing shelter in San Diego – there’s always a need. This year I’m planning to take one step further and also give away some Tony Robbins books as the ultimate gift – a choice.

  4. I think this is your best post yet Michael! And that’s saying a lot. Of course, I’m a big fan of sappy stories that leave you wanting to become better, give more, do more. I completely agree with you – there is always something we can give. And the rewards are tremendous, often coming back to you tenfold.

  5. Cool story Mike! Definitely agree that if we want to get in life we often need to give first..
    I get the feeling your on to something big here with this site / in general 🙂

    Keep it up

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