The Full Might of Generosity

Out of the clear blue spring sky, my friend sends me a sundress. 

I was thinking of you and how it's probably getting to be spring in Maine, she wrote from her home in the sunny southwest, and there's no season that isn't better with a dress to ring it in.

I just about melt on the post office floor. My face, thoughts, mood go soft and tender. Generosity does incredible things to us, doesn't it? 

Later that day, an email arrives from a friend here on the east coast. She's had a really tough few years, but has chosen - chosen -  to place her focus on what matters to her. She tells me a motto she's been using and signs the note, "T-shirts someday."

No, no - T-shirts TODAY! I think. I go online, customize a shirt with my friend's motto on it, have it sent to her. 

And I likely would not have done this had it not been for the sundress lying by my side. Because my friend in the sunny southwest had reminded me how life-giving generosity is. 

Our acts of generosity are rarely in isolation. They unfold out into the world in ways known and unknown. A sundress from the southwest caused a t-shirt in the northeast caused who knows what else. Perhaps you'll read this and take it in a whole new direction. And the recipient of your generosity grows on that. And on, and on. 

It's not impossible to think that the full might of a single generous gesture could bring us to our knees in awe. 

After all, anything that leaves another human softer and more tender is one powerful force. 

The Lightning Notes is funded by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I'd be grateful if you'd consider donating. Click to Donate!