The Power of Giving

  • Christmas is less than a month away and Hannukah begins next week. It’s a time when we’re asked to give- when many are already feeling pinched from the general economic conditions. I was recently reminded of a blog that I wrote several years ago, that I’m rerunning today as a reminder (to me). Hopefully it will warm your heart too……

    Holiday Giving

    A few years ago I was working on an entrepreneurial project, living off savings. Some days were financially scary as I was learning to live on faith instead of fear.

    One day I was standing in the checkout line of my local grocery store, very aware that the woman in front of me was taking a very long time to check out. Although I had no pressing appointment, I became impatient and annoyed at having to wait so long.  Finally, I realized that being annoyed wasn’t doing me any good and I started to pay attention to what was unfolding before me.

    The cashier was explaining to a rail-thin older woman in front of me that she couldn’t accept her check, as they always bounced. The woman, Alice, was fumbling through her purse looking for spare change, I had this amazing feeling of peace come over me as thought about this woman’s situation. I thought to myself that there should be a charity to help people like this. “Someone” should do something, and I realized that today, “someone” was me.

    Feeling very grateful for where I was in my life financially, as scary as I thought it was at that time, I leaned forward in faith and asked the cashier to just put Alice’s bill of $19.92 on my tab. When Alice insisted on paying me back, I asked her to pay it forward when she could. After a hug and profuse thanks, she gratefully left with her groceries.

    The cashier told me that my simple action had made her whole week! Smiling, she totaled my groceries, asked for my reward card that offers discounts on some purchases, scanned the card and told me that with store specials, I had saved a total of $19.92 on my order.

    I was stunned and asked her to repeat the number.  She did, not realizing that it was the exact amount of Alice’s groceries that I had just paid for.  I asked her to repeat it a third time and a look of amazement came over her face. She slowly said “Nineteen dollars and ninety-two cents!”, realizing the miracle we had just witnessed. We stood there in wonder, sharing an incredible moment of “Wow, can you believe this?” I felt I had just been given an incredible gift.

    The Universe once again showed me- this time in a very tangible and public way, that the little things I worry about are nothing. The Universe will always provide what I need- and here was a perfect example. Even from a place of fear and lack, when I was able to step forward in faith and be of service to another, I was not only reminded, but also immediately rewarded.

    I walked out of that store much richer than when I entered. To this day I keep that receipt with the $19.92 savings on my refrigerator as a constant reminder of the magic in the world. Worn and faded, it’s still there today, nearly 5 years later.

    I almost missed the magic that day by thinking I was in a hurry. What gifts do we miss everyday by not paying attention? Take a breath, slow down, step forward in faith and watch what shows up in your life today. Where can you be of service? Pay attention and consciously look for the magic. I think you’ll be amazed and blessed by what you’ll find, as it’s there for all of us.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Andrew Einspruch
      Andrew Einspruch says:

      A lovely story. The Inca have a term “ayni”, which means “right relations”, and our goal in life should be to be in ayni with the world. The synchronicity of $19.92 being both the amount shared and the amount saved sure seems like a clear sign that you were in ayni that day.

      Thank you for sharing this inspirational story.


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