My business partner, Eric, and his wife Amy, consciously seek out opportunities to help others by making an anonymous donation each year. They envision creating a book for their grandchildren that chronicles the stories of their random acts of kindness, hoping their book will be a family legacy allowing future generations to be bitten by the giving bug.
After Eric learned that a single mom, who the family knew distantly, had to spend her scrupulously amassed Christmas savings to replace a totaled car, he and Amy filled an envelope with money. On Christmas morning, a trusted friend knocked on the woman’s door, handed her the stuffed envelope, wished her a Merry Christmas and walked away.
Eric never heard anything more about the donation, but hoped he’d given the women great encouragement in a tough time.
As I collect and share stories like these, I’m struck by the way that one choice can propagate itself, spreading from one person to the next. Imagine Eric’s story touching just one person, who then chooses to do something similar. One seed of one person’s idea, which leads to their “small” actions, can make a huge difference as it ripples beyond them.
Our choices can be impactful to others and have reverberations that extend far beyond our visibility. While we may know this to be true, it can feel like a flat truism, something that’s not connected to what we face in daily life.
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