Some books have a longlasting impact on us. ’29 gifts’ is one such book.I read the book almost six months back and was deeply moved by the autobiographical account of the author.29 Gifts shows how a simple, daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world and make you a master of the Art of Living.
At age thirty-three, Cami Walker was burdened by an intensified struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disease that left her depressed and she was barely able to walk.This happened just a month after her marriage.Then she received an uncommon “prescription” from South African healer Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days.“By giving,” Mbali told her, “you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.”
29 Gifts is the insightful story of the author’s life change as she embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving. The gifts were simple—a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By Day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had created a worldwide giving movement.
By the time I finished reading the book, I signed up for the 29 Days Giving Challenge and have been on the giving journey since then.It’s great to be a part of this wonderful community and have met some amazing people there: Deb,Lois,Ann,Michelle…It’s inspiring to read the amazing stories about the power of giving.This small community is working towards reviving the giving spirit in the world.
I had written the following post on my personal blog some time back…Am sharing this here as a tribute to Cami Walker- a living inspiration for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Random Acts of Kindness
What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind. ~Cleveland Amory
What is it that brightens up your day when you are feeling a little low ? A gentle smile , a kind word or a friendly hug ? You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone is kind to others.
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. Giving begins the receiving process.Whatever you want in your life,give it to others.If you want joy then give joy to others.If you want happiness,spread happiness wherever you go.If you want love, give love. You will see how abundance increases in every aspect of your life if only you learn to be kind and generous.
A random act of kindness is a gift that costs nothing but is always appreciated.And the giver too receives the return gift of joy and happiness and a sense of fullfilment.So how to get started ?
Here I have listed a few ideas.Put them into practice and also create your own:
- Smile Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
- A word of appreciation Sometimes all we need is a little appreciation. At the same time, let us not forget to appreciate others around us.
- Hugs There’s something in a simple hug That always warms the heart, It welcomes us back home And makes it easier to part…. ~Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr., “A Simple Hug”
- Donate old clothes or toys to a charity or an orphanage
- Feed the hungry While eating out or when you see someone hungry,don’t forget to share a slice with the less fortunate.
- Flower power A bunch of flowers is the sweetest gift that can be given on all occasions.Try the flower power by giving out rose buds to strangers.
- Volunteer for a cause Find a cause that interests you and be a volunteer by devoting some hours from your busy schedule.
- Spend time with the elderly The elderly have so much to offer, not the least of which is valuable life experience. Visit old age home or spend time with the elders of your family.They will love it and this is certainly a time well spent.
- Kindness to animals Feed a stray animal or keep an earthern bowl filled with water outside for the birds.
- Online donations You can donate online for some NGO. There are so many organisations who are doing amazing work for different causes and they are constantly in need of money to support them.
- Thank You Cards Put your creativity to use ,make some beautiful thank you cards at home and send them to the ones who have helped you in the past.
- Books Gift a book to a friend or donate your old books to a library or old textbooks of your child to someone needy.
- Be anonymous Send someone a small gift anonymously.
- Surprise treat Treat a friend to the movies for no reason or pay for the drinks on the next table at a café or buy chocolates to a kid in the departmental store.
- Domestic chores Help your mother in the kitchen or walk your friend’s dog.
- Cleanliness drive Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
- Giving up Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.Give another driver your parking spot.Let someone jump the queue at the bank or ticket counter.
- Stretch your hand first Stretch the hand of friendship to someone new or if you have fallen out with an old friend, be the first to set things right.
- Sharing your talents If you are good at cooking,painting,dancing,public speaking or any other creative form then you can teach it to others for free.
- Drop boxes We find donation boxes placed at departmental stores or hospitals etc.Make sure to put in some change in the drop box.
Keep doing the random acts of kindness.Don’t think what difference it will make.Just remember that no matter how big or small, every act of kindness makes a difference!