Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Widow's Mite

Once again, kids have shown me why they are, indeed, our best hope for our world. 

After sharing a presentation about my book, Hope for Haiti, I was given two very special gifts from some elementary school students. One little boy approached me with an expression that seemed on the verge of cracking. He held out his fist and dropped three silver dollars into my hand. He quietly told me, "Please take these to the children in Haiti." 

I thanked him and took the coins. It blew me away that all it took was for him to see pictures and hear stories of kids in need and he was on it, giving everything he had in the world right then. Well, a few minutes later, while signing autographs on bookmarks for some kids in another room, another boy approached me with a gift. He handed me his lunch money straight out of his jacket pocket. A wadded treasure of two dollars. He told me he wanted to give it to me so I could help some child in Haiti. "If my mom gave me a hundred bucks for lunch today, I wish she did because I would give it to you for the kids in Haiti," he said. 

A gift given out of love is as valuable as anything in the world. There is no hierarchy of philanthropy. It is all about the heart. For some corporations to give millions away might seem charitable but then when you consider the tax benefits that doing so may bring, it forces you to question the motive. But when a kid who has two bucks wadded in his jacket to buy lunch gives you everything he owns, there is no doubt in anyone's mind where this gift is coming from. It is straight from the heart. 

The gift given out of plenty is great. The gift given out of little is divine. 

Take a moment to feel better about the world, won't you? Go check out KIDS ARE HEROES. These are examples of young kids finding a cause that touches their hearts and acting on it in their own capacity. It is the essence of true religion, to me. To be like God is to be like a child. Children do not know enough to sway their hearts into darkness and bitterness. They still often dwell in the present moment and they react with humanity. Sometimes that humanity is selfishness, of course, but then sometimes it is pure, spontaneous generosity.
I can also attest to the healing power of helping others. Depression finds a way of darkening even the sunniest skies but the act of compassion and giving can drive that darkness away. It is like medicine for the soul. For my soul. For your soul. I invite you into the light of giving like a child. It will set you free.