As I focus on giving my extra stuff away, it seems like others keep giving to me. At first I felt frustrated, like the giving was going in the wrong direction. Then, I decided that receiving and being grateful was also a gift. In a sense, when I give, I am in control. It’s good to be on the other end occasionally and humbly accept the gifts of others.

At a recent conference someone just gave (not lent) me a red pen when I mentioned that I forgot to bring mine. Another person gave me her scarf when she noticed I was cold in an air-conditioned room – and insisted that I keep it. I had some extra time to read so I went to the Chaminade University library to check out a couple books. Since I wasn’t a student or local resident the head librarian said, “Hey, just put it on my card. I know you’re trustworthy.” I also needed a pleasant room for a post conference retreat I was responsible for. One local participant arranged for my group to use the President’s Lounge for a day – free. Another person saw me eyeing a couple books for a class that she teaches. I also teach a similar class on leadership. She said, “Just take them. I’ve got extras.” That’s 7 items that people gave me in one week. I’ll have to step up my giving.