I was 25 years old and pursuing my acting career. Three of us were crammed into a one bedroom apartment off Laurel Canyon in North Hollywood, but it was okay because we were living our dream. By “living my dream” I mean working a slew of temp jobs to pay for all the head shots and gasoline to drive between auditions.
On this particular day I awoke to discover that I literally had nothing, nothing, to my name. My refrigerator had half an onion and some butter spray. Parking was $2.25 and I did not have it, because even though I had been temping for three weeks I wasn’t set up on payroll yet. I woke my roommates in a panic. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the three of us lifting our IKEA futon cushions to look for loose change so I could pay the meter.
I never told my parents that I was literally a starving actress. I was too ashamed. But that day at work I sat hungry at my desk, not knowing how to make ends meet, and I decided I would have to swallow my pride and make the humiliating phone call to my parents for a loan.
Parking on the street, I opened the gate to my apartment and twisted the key in the mailbox, expecting a shut off notice from the electric company. Inside was a letter from my father. He never wrote to me; my mom always did.
“I wish someone would have done this for me when I first started out. Love, Dad.” And inside was a check for $500. Tears spilled down my face, washing me with relief and humility, and gratitude for his generosity.
Recently, I was nominated by Jessica, the blogger of The Slender Grapefruit for the Verstitle Blogger Award. I want to thank her sincerely for the nomination. As part of this I also have to nominate 15 bloggers and tell you 7 random things. In light of the holiday season, my 7 things are focused on generosity, because I have been given so much throughout my life.
7 Ways to Show Generosity
- Go to a restaurant and leave a $50 tip. If you can’t afford this, leave the biggest tip you can.
- Be generous with your time. You have a thousand things to do. Drop everything and hang out with your kids for an hour, doing whatever they want.
- Share the last cookie. Even the chocolate chip one. Don’t hide in the closet and eat it alone.
- Mentor someone. Maybe no one ever bothered to mentor you, and you had to do everything on your own. Be the mentor you wish you had.
- Write a thank you card. Not only will the person be thrilled with the thoughtful gesture, they will also be shocked and amazed to discover that some people still know how to write in cursive. (It’s ok if you print though.)
- Listen. Encourage your friend who wants to quit. Let your neighbor vent. Put down your smartphone when your spouse is talking to you.
- Give. Give your unwanted business clothes to a women going on a job interview. Give food to a soup kitchen. Give a smile to a person who looks sad.
You never know how your small act of generosity will impact others, and that’s the fun of it.
Here are my nominees:
And because I’m feeling generous, here’s another blog I love: http://mindysfitnessjourney.blogspot.com
How about you? How do you show you are generous?
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