Generosity Is Its Own GiftSeptember 19, 2016
Yesterday, I had the incredible pleasure of giving away 75 signed copies of Dancing at Angel Abbey. The giveaway took place at Hay House’s I Can Do It! conference in Philadelphia, a three-day event featuring some of the brightest minds in the self-improvement community. There were hundreds of wonderful people in attendance, many of whom cheerfully stood in line waiting for their copies as I signed away. It was an amazing experience, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Wait a minute, you might say. You were giving away books? For free? Surely, the people who got them ought to feel more grateful than you do, right?
Not at all.
I’m sure the folks who got copies of my novel were appreciative, and I hope they’ll be even more so after they’ve read it. But those kind folks graced me with the opportunity to share a story from the depths of my heart, to introduce them to characters who feel like friends. They freely accepted what I offered, and I walked away feeling like a million bucks when the last copy was gone.
Corporations engage in carefully targeted “giving,” usually in an effort to woo prospective customers. It looks like philanthropy, but it’s really marketing in fancy dress. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I hope that the executives who plan and execute corporate giving don’t get too cynical about it. Generosity is a virtue in its own right, something to be enjoyed without regard for the quid pro quo. Yes, it’s nice if people buy what you’re selling, and no business can last long without sales. But the opportunity to give freely is a precious one, and always something to savor.
I was able to make the world a little brighter by handing out a few dozen books. Just imagine how it would shine if the mega-businesses would share a little more of their wealth with worthy causes. The more generous we are, the more good we can do, and the more good we do, the more cause we have for gratitude.
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