Monday, June 4, 2012

Give to be Remembered

I was on my porch, sitting on a chair one night. I don't usually do that, but it was a cloudy night and I love the smell of moisture in the air. My eyes felt tired. They had that "just got up" feeling. It's weird to feel that at night. I saw a friend walk right by my house. His name was Luis. He had red hair, freckles and pointy ears. If he was wearing all green, you'd think he was an elf. He was about four years younger than I was. We used to play soccer together in an alley with a lot of our friends. But as time went on, we played less and less. I hadn't seen him in years.

"Luis!" I stood up, walked down the stairs and went over to him. He was about four inches taller than me now. A tall elf. He was surprised to see me. And I don't know why, but I offered to buy him a donut at Dunkin' Donuts. "Sure," he said. I bought a small coffee myself and we sat by the window. It was almost 10 o'clock. There were about four people in there. One in particular was alone. Just sitting there with a large coffee and his big brown coat. I wonder what was troubling that man. Just then, it started raining. I like the rain. Luis and I talked about nothing important. We reminded ourselves about the stupid things we did in that alley. But that's for another post. We walked home when the rain had calmed down a bit. He thanked me for the donut. We said bye, shook hands and that was that.

(This is what it looked like.)

A few days later, I was playing soccer in the same alley. My friends and I got together for old times sake. We were all just sitting down on garbage cans because the ball got stuck on the flat roof of a garage. It always gets stuck there. It's a big garage. It has three doors. So no one wanted to climb it to get it. I saw Luis cross the alley and I yelled his name. I told him what happened. "I'll get it, but only because you bought me that donut." We laughed. He got up there and threw the ball down. I told him if he wanted to play, but he couldn't. He walked away.

Another time, I went over to a parking lot. My friends were playing soccer there (yes, we played soccer a lot.) There was this guy there who nobody wanted in their team. His legs were double jointed and he couldn't kick very well. His name was Oscar. He always had a bright attitude though. When I got there, they replaced him with me only I didn't know. In the middle of the game, I looked over and saw him standing by a fence. Just watching. I realized I had just ruined his day. He probably walked here from home and was excited to play. He was excited that there was just enough people here for him to play without being an "extra" and be left out. He was probably cursing at me as I ran. I know I would have. So I stopped running. I walked over to him and said, "Go ahead, we'll take turns." He smiled. "Cool, thanks dude," and he jogged to the middle of the parking lot with his shaky legs. One of my friends playing joked and said I was gentleman. It felt good.

Then, something happened. One of the guys playing walked towards me and said, "you want to take my spot? I'm not playing anymore." Yes, I said. I jogged over there with a smile. It's as if the universe had bent to my kindness.

(We used to use trash cans as goalie posts.)

Some angel was probably watching and said. "Hey hey hey. Get me God on line one. I just saw a kid here who did an act of kindness."

Then some angel secretary would call God. The line would be busy of course. But he's God, so he returned the call right away. "What happened?" God would say. And the angel would tell him everything. Then God would say, "Thanks, I'll take care of it." He would then make one of the guys too tired to play so that he would sit this one out.

Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but that's how it went in my head.

The universe is strange. Nobody really knows how it works. But it's like it wants to bend things for those that it likes. It seems to sense everything you do. Your lies. Your anger. Your sadness. And for some reason, giving, makes it bend things for you. Maybe not instantly, but it's working on it. It remembers you. It moves things around to make your life easier.

(The universe remembers what you do.)

People also remember the givers, not the takers. So give away. At school. At work. People will remember. And even if it's years later, they'll help you if you need it. Or they'll give back because they remember you.

One of my favorite authors used to give Google as an example. Google itself has no real content. It just gives you a list of people who are better than it at answering the question you asked. And yet, we keep going back to Google because it's honest. Because it's generous. Those are the type of people we go back to every time. It's the most famous website in the world. And it's empty. Ask it anything. It doesn't know the answer. But it can give you the information of people who do.

The universe likes Google. I like Google. So I'm going to practice giving right this moment. Ask me any question, about anything in the world. Troubles you might have. Opinions you want. Or even advice. Fire away.

And hopefully you'll remember me one day. If I'm ever homeless on the street, dirty, with ripped pants and a starving look in my face, please put a quarter in my cup. And I'll remember you as well.

My friend.


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