Kindness is never wasted

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It is surprising how life works out, but one thing I have learned is that kindness is never wasted.

I had bought a friend a  monitor because they only had a small Macbook screen and having a larger monitor is easier on the eyes and more productive. They liked it, but then I received from work a larger monitor that didn’t work out for me. I gave it to my friend, and now my friend had a smaller screen that couldn’t be used. She didn’t want to have two screens on her desk, so she asked her friends to see if anyone wanted a monitor. No one wanted one. A week passes by and I figure I will just have to throw it away. On the day I was going to throw it away she said that one of her coworkers talked about how hard it was to work on her screen and this gave my friend the chance to be generous and give her the monitor she no longer needed. A gift was regifted and the person who received it loved it.

Another time was an office chair that was highly rated and so I bought it. I found it to be too hard and uncomfortable for me so I asked a friend and they wanted it. They love the chair and said it is the best chair they have had. I didn’t buy it for my friend, but friends always seem to appreciate it if I offer them something I no longer use.

This is not to share what a great person I am but rather to say that before we do what is easy and throw something away or something like that, we can take a second and consider if there is anyone who we know or don’t know who could use something. Another example is when I moved out of an apartment. I had bought some cheap furniture from Goodwill and it wasn’t trash but it wasn’t worth paying for a Uhaul to move it to my new location. I put it in the hallway with a sign “free furniture” and 15 minutes later when I was loading up my car to leave, most of it was gone. How many people needed those things that were garbage to me?

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When I used to live in Chicago I would routinely put things in front of my house or the alley with a piece of paper on them saying “Free/take me.” I was amazed. No matter what I put out, someone wanted it. I lived in a middle-class community and people seemed to appreciate anything that had any slight usefulness. Sometimes it was cheap furniture I had gotten tired of, and sometimes a bag that I no longer used. Things that would have easily been thrown away if someone wanted.

Again in Chicago when I moved into the house there was a lot of spare wood in the attic. I wanted to clean the attic out with the idea that one day I would improve it by adding insulation and more space like bedrooms. I looked online for a way to get rid of the wood and decided to use something called “Freecycle”. I described the wood as best I could and I found someone who wanted it. He came down in an SUV and chose certain pieces and I threw away the rest. I was thrilled that the old wood would be repurposed by this carpenter.

It is easy to just throw things away or take them to a thrift store but there are other options as well. To me, giving away things is a joy and it makes me feel good knowing that I have eased someone’s life a little. Sure I could have made a little money selling these things but honestly the pleasure it gave me in giving them away is worth far more. Giving to others is a pleasure, not a burden.