Spending five dollars at 5 am was the best money I spent all day. As I was walking through the airport at 5 am, I realized that I had already been up for almost 3 hours and had barely slept the night before. What was the point of sleeping when I had to catch an early flight? I decided to grab a snack while I waited to board. I wandered over to a kiosk where I spotted a bag of potato chips, which I rarely eat, calling my name. I wondered if calories before 6 am really mattered.
I walked up to the stand where there was a gentleman and a young girl working. The young girl hardly noticed me and continued to frantically count the money in her drawer. She had nothing less than a scowl on her face. That’s when I thought to myself not everyone is a morning person. I asked her why the unhappy face so early in the day. She seemed overwhelmed with panic and didn’t respond. On her second count of the cash drawer, I overheard the gentleman behind her say, ‘Maybe the five dollars ended up in your pocket.’
The reason for the scowl on her face became clear as day. At that moment, I decided to speak my piece and told him the money was not in her pocket. I asked her if she needed money to cover the drawer. She looked up at me in disbelief and said, ‘Yes,’ so I offered up a five dollar bill I had in my wallet. She took the money and put it in the drawer, rang up my order and thanked me graciously. After I could see the relief in her eyes, I suggested we both smile and use this experience to brighten someone else’s day. She looked at me, with a permanent grin, and said, ‘Have a great day and a great flight!’ I thanked her and while I made my way to catch my flight, I couldn’t help but think five dollars, right or wrong, lifted her load a little bit. When I saw the impact five dollars made, I was extremely glad to help her.
I started to think about Radical generosity… Radical meaning something extraordinary that an ordinary person could do. Generosity doesn’t have to be something so sacrificial that it’s taxing or becomes a hardship. It’s the nature of going beyond, in a moment, to make a difference because you can. Not because it’s required or expected or necessarily needed, but the act itself makes someone’s moment, day or life better, which impacts the richness of your moment.
I believe life is a series of moments, and the more Radical moments that we string together, we realize it becomes what we call life. It’s the small moments of grace and proactive, positive creation that set the stage to make the change.
Say the Radical yes to generosity. It can be the smallest of things that make a Radical difference in someone’s day.