Yesterday I decided to start over after only three days into my giving challenge because I missed the third day. So, I had an appt. with my orthopedist in the afternoon, supposedly to have a walking cast put on, and decided to make some cookies for the receptionists. This is a busy, very business-like place, where interactions with the front desk are usually terse and short after waiting for a while to get up there. I decided to gift the women who always look so harried and annoyed to see how my gift was received. My husband brought the cookie plate up when he signed me in, and handed them over to the young woman taking his information. She smiled and thanked him, but didn't miss a beat calling the next patient.
During the second leg of our visit: waiting to see the doctor, I started coughing from a dry throat and asked Jim to get me some water. He ultimately found a fountain, but no cups (bad planning for an orthopedic office I'd say). He asked at the desk if there were any cups and was given the brush off by the woman he approached. However, the young woman he gave the cookies to over heard & went to get a plastic cup for him.
A long story to illustrate one of the many benefits of giving freely: that receptionist probably would not have gotten up if we hadn't brought in the cookies. It is possible that that small gift will work a little magic in that unfriendly climate and help those women know that they are dealing with people, and that they are important to us.