I’m on this constant non-fiction book adventure. One book enters my life and it leads me to another, and so on and so forth.
Recently, I picked up 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.
Something about making someone else’s life easier appeals to me. I see so much suffering in the world that I’ve begun to wonder if giving is the answer to all the world’s problems.
The author, Cami Walker, develops MS a month after her wedding. She ends up in a lot of pain, on a lot of prescription drugs, and with a compromised quality of life. Then she meets Mbali Creazzo, an African medicine woman. Her prescription for Cami’s MS? Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. And so Cami does.
Mbali says, “The best way to attract abundance into your life is to be in a perpetual state of giving and gratitude.”
Most of the gifts are small and simple like saving a seat, buying a homeless man tacos, passing along a book, offering some kind words, writing a friend a letter, spending time with a friend or giving your cat a belly rub. But she also suggests giving away something you feel you can’t live without. I did this about 4 years ago. I gave my sister a new shirt I loved because she said she liked it but didn’t have the money to buy it because of her layoff. At first I didn’t think I could give away the shirt. It was mine. It was pretty. It was rare. Then I decided that’s exactly why I should give it away — to liberate myself from materials things.
Cami feels stronger and better with each day of gift giving. She stops needing her cane to walk around the block, takes on consulting jobs, gets closer to her husband. She comes alive and says, “Today, I’m part of a large group of people committee to the vision of a worldwide goodwill movement. Our collective mission is to create a grass roots revival of the giving spirit in the world.”
I love that reason to get up in the morning! Beautiful.
Cami also mentions one of Mahatma Gandhi’s coolest quotes, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Volunteering on various town committees in service to my town gave my life a whole new dimension in fullness. I meet other giving folks and make a lasting impact in my own backyard, which ripples across the planet.
I’m going to do this 29 gifts beginning September 15 and blog about it every few weeks. If you, too, want to give 29 gifts, please visit Cami’s site and sign up: 29 Day Giving Challenge.
Happy Giving, Giulietta