The second day I was still glowing from the success of the first. But I thought I should step it up to give, not only to friends and family, which is easy--and which I do quite often--but also to street people, because that's where it gets hard for me. (I do give on the street sometimes, but usually not with a glad and grateful heart.)
I used to work in a very rough neighborhood of SF, and I'd be asked for money at least a dozen times between getting off the subway and walking to work. I developed the bad habit of not looking at the person asking, or just barely glancing, putting my head down and saying "Sorry." This time I decided to give $3.00 to someone homeless--more than I usually give--, but I only had 2.00 in ones. I put them in my pocket and walked around the lake. I was not approached even once. I did smile and say "hi" to everyone I saw. There was one guy who seemed homeless who stared at me fiercely and pointed his finger. I smiled and said hi to him but he had a little encampment up and there was something about his stance that I interpreted as "Do not cross my boundary."
When I went home, I wrote a card to a friend whose mother is failing and reiterated my offer of help to her. I decided to give money to Smile train, and I realized this giving challenge gives me permission to give to charities I've wanted to contribute to for a while but didn't think I could afford. I gave magazine subscriptions to my sister and stepmother, and I sent a poem to a friend. All this was good, but frankly, pretty standard operating procedure.
The next day I went around the lake again, and I saw the same homeless guy in the same spot. This time he smiled and talked to me. he said he was pointing at me to put his magic on me and make me come over to him. I had thought he was warding me off! We chatted and joked for a minute or two, but I still stayed at a respectful distance. I gave a couple of dollars to a homeless guy who was holding up a cardboard sign at the freeway exit.