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What is the Impact of Generosity?

Recently my wife and I went down to The Plaza.  We went out, laughed, talked, walked had a nice dinner and decided to do dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.  Well you can anticipate what happened.  On a nice night, everyone else had the same idea and our wait was going to be at least  50 minutes.

Dutifully, we took the mandatory pager and waited patiently for the buzz.  Meanwhile, we saw the crowds of people continue to stream in and take their mandatory pagers.  Many seemed like us—couples out on a date.

Not that we are impatient by any means…but it dawned on my wife and I that we could erase our 50 minute wait by ordering cheesecake to go.  So in a few minutes we had our cheesecake in hand.  But still, we had this mandatory pager thing.

It occurred to me that we ought to turn the pager in but a better idea struck me.   Why not pass our pager on to one of those couples who fell well below us in the pecking order.  So we picked out of the crowd another couple who we knew came in well after us.  They were sitting patiently with their mandatory pager in hand on a similar 50 minute wait.  They looked resigned, until we approached them.

It was really simple.  I told them my name, handed them my mandatory pager thing, told them we were getting our cheesecake to go and that they’d been elevated to our position in line.  He smiled.  She said, “Wow!”  and off we went—cheesecake in hand and mandatory pager thing gone.

A simple act but later I reflected upon it.  It’s fun to be generous—to give away, to make others feel better, to give them what they don’t deserve.  Funny how that makes me feel better too.


About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: » Learn More

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