It was a really hot summer's
day many years ago. I was
on my way to pick up two items at the grocery store. In
those days, I was a frequent visitor to the supermarket
because there never seemed to be enough money for a
whole week's food-shopping at once.
You see, my young wife, after
a tragic battle with
cancer, had died just a few months earlier. There was
no insurance -- just many expenses and a mountain of
bills. I held a part-time job, which barely generated
enough money to feed my two young children. Things were
bad -- really bad.
And so it was that day, with
a heavy heart and four
dollars in my pocket, I was on my way to the
supermarket to purchase a gallon of milk and a loaf of
bread. The children were hungry and I had to get them
something to eat. As I came to a red traffic light, I
noticed on my right, a young man, a young woman and a
child on the grass next to the road. The blistering
noonday sun beat down on them without mercy.
The man held up a cardboard
sign, which read, "Will
Work for Food". The woman stood next to him. She just
stared at the cars stopped at the red light. The child,
probably about two years old, sat on the grass holding
a one-armed doll. I noticed all this in the thirty
seconds it took for the traffic light to change to
I wanted so desperately to
give them a few dollars, but
if I did that, there wouldn't be enough left to buy the
milk and bread. Four dollars will only go so far. As
the light changed, I took one last glance at the three
of them and sped off feeling both guilty (for not
helping them) and sad (because I didn't have enough
money to share with them).
As I kept driving, I couldn't
get the picture of the
three of them out of my mind. The sad, haunting eyes of
the young man and his family stayed with me for about a
mile. I could take it no longer. I felt their pain and
had to do something about it. I turned around and drove
back to where I had last seen them.
I pulled up close to them and
handed the man two of my
four dollars. There were tears in his eyes as he
thanked me. I smiled and drove on to the supermarket.
Perhaps, both milk and bread would be on sale, I
thought. And what if I only got milk alone, or just the
bread? Well, it would have to do.
I pulled into the parking lot,
still thinking about the
whole incident, yet feeling good about what I had done.
As I stepped out of the car, my foot slid on something
on the pavement. There by my feet, was a twenty dollar
bill. I just couldn't believe it. I looked all around,
picked it up with awe, went into the store and
purchased not only bread and milk, but several other
items I desperately needed.
I never forgot that incident.
It reminded me that the
universe was strange and mysterious. It confirmed my
belief that you could never outgive the universe. I
gave away two dollars and got twenty in return. On my
way back from the supermarket, I drove by the hungry
family and shared five additional dollars with them.
This incident is only one of
many that have occurred in
my life. It seems that the more we give, the more we
get. It is, perhaps, one of those universal laws that
say, "If you want to receive, you must first give".
There is a little rhyme that
goes like this:
"A man there was, and
they called him mad,
The more he gave, the more he had."
Most times, we think that we
don't have anything to
give. Yet, if we look more closely, we'll see that even
the little we have could be shared with others. Let us
not wait for a time when we think we'll have lots and
then we'll give. By giving and sharing the little we
have, we open up the storehouse of the universe and
permit rivers of good to come our way.
Don't take my word for it.
Just honestly try to give
and you'll be surprised at the results. Generally, the
returns do not come back from those we give to. It
comes back from sources we could hardly imagine. So
give your way to riches.
Take a chance on this universal
principle. Take a
chance on yourself. Universal principles always work.
Sometimes the return from giving happens very quickly
as in the true story above. Other times, it takes much
longer. But be assured of this: Give and you will
receive -- and you'll receive lots more than you ever
And when you give, don't do
it with a heart of fear,
but with a heart full of gratitude. You will be amazed
at how it all works out. Open the gates of affluence in
your life by giving a bit of what you have to those in
need. As the great Teacher said, "Give and It will be
given unto you." Try it. You'll like it.
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