I believe in giving back.
Giving back doesn’t have to require a huge big effort on our part. I’ve volunteered my time to worthwhile causes since I can remember. I know, I know, it’s time consuming. Many of us are already juggling family, jobs and life in general. We don’t have hours to spend knee-deep in volunteer work, nor do we feel we can give up our precious “free time” in service to others when our own families should occupy that prestigious spot in our lives.
But giving back does not have to be all consuming. It can be as simple as offering someone words of encouragement, making them smile when they’re feeling down, helping them view life from a totally different angle, bringing hope into their lives when it is absent or just doing something nice without expecting some payback. What I’ve come to see it that, so many times when we do something expecting nothing in return, wonderful things naturally come our way.
This summer I had the opportunity to do something unique, something that required a few moments of my time and cost me a trip to the post office, two bucks worth of postage, and a couple of years worth of hair. Yes, I did say hair!
In May, my second daughter bought me a coupon to have my hair cut at a salon. I’d been nattering about getting my haircut for months but taking the time to make an appointment in town, and then actually going, just kept getting put off. (Writers do lead such busy lives you know.) So, smart daughter that I have, she knew a haircut wasn’t going to happen unless she took matters into her own hands. One way or another that ponytail had to go. The thing about long hair is we don’t realize how long it is until one day we wake up and it’s just in the way. And really, a ponytail is designed to trick us into thinking our hair isn’t all that long.
Now right from the start, I couldn’t imagine having all that hair cut and simply throwing it away. My kids will tell you; hardly anything gets thrown out in this house. I knew there were places willing to take my hair. I just had to find out where. A little digging around the Internet, and I found a place that uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Seemed like a very worthwhile cause. So I did up my braids and mailed them off one Saturday.
Like I said, giving back doesn’t always require a great deal of our time, just a little thought and some willingness on our part to make the effort. Not to mention I got a nifty new haircut in the bargain. And who knows, perhaps I’ll write about a character one day doing the exact thing.
What small ways do you have of giving back?