Give and You Receive

I don’t know if you remember me. But I was living across the street from you.

All of my clothes had holes. I had no food left in my house. And I was a mess.

My girlfriend had left me. And I didn’t know how to cook and I had no money. And I had to move. But I owed a few months rent and was trying to move without the landlord knowing.

I had never moved anywhere before. I had never had any belongings before. Now I did. I had books and pots and towels and sheets. What do I do?

I walked over to your house and asked you to help me. You came over. You went into the kitchen and saw a sign on the wall that I had missed. The sign was from my ex-girlfriend, “Directions on How James Should Move”.

It contained ten steps on how to move. You laughed. We drank. It got late. I ended up leaving all of my belongings there and not following the instructions.

I had one or two pairs of pants and shirts. I kept those. You let me stay at your house for a few days. I don’t think I bathed.

One day the landlord of the old house came looking for me. He saw me looking at him through your window. I ran and hid in the closet. I heard him asking you about me but you said you didn’t know me.

I lost touch with you. I lost touch with the ex-girlfriend. I lost touch with all my friends from that first city I lived in.

The same thing happened in the next city I lived in. And then the next situation I lived in (because by then I was living in NYC and I no longer moved cities but I moved situations).

And then I became a hedge fund manager and wore a suit on TV a lot. And then I turned that upside down because I had to.

Thank you for helping me. Thank you for cooking for me that last night I was in town.

Before I moved to a place where nobody knew me. Before I changed my personality and became a new person because I was afraid nobody would like the old me.

Before I went through all the many changes that stacked one on top of another to make me who I am today. I had nothing to my name (and still don’t) but experiences.

Thanks for not pointing the finger at me when my oven blew up and my girlfriend came home with firemen all over the house. She would’ve been angry and I hate confrontation.

I learned early on that I’m pretty incompetent at almost everything. I’m a champ at incompetence. I don’t even feel that bad about it. It’s just who I am.

You gave, so that I wouldn’t give up.

Even a small give makes the universe live by your example.


I’ve been trying to give back. When I give, I feel like suddenly I have something new inside of me. The only way I’ve made it from there, is because I gave to get here.

The only time I wasn’t a ghost was when I was giving.

Giving is not something you do. It’s something you practice.

It’s like a key. And there’s a door. And every time I use the key and walk inside I’m a secret agent. Even today, there’s a new mission. I’m finally ready.

Experiment: In what five ways can you give today? See what happens. Be the secret agent.

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