The Gift

A few months ago, my family was facing a major money crunch. Thanks to a job loss, an income reduction, and an unexpectedly delayed contract payment, our finances were stressing us out more than they had in a long time. Money was hemorrhaging from our bank account like water from a busted dam.

Then something unexpected and magical happened: several of my friends conspired to cover some of our bills.

From a practical standpoint, this act of kindness was meaningful because it helped relieve our financial burden.

But it also had an impact well beyond finances.

Their gesture made us feel seen and supported. It made us feel cared for and less alone. It was also a reminder that it’s okay to ask for and accept help.

We were in a dark place for a while there, worn down by the pandemic, money issues, isolation, and job worries. Our friends drew back the curtains, let the light in, and reminded us that our situation wouldn’t last forever.

Ultimately, it was a powerful act. It certainly felt powerful to us.

We’re now in a better spot financially, but I think about their gift all the time. For me, it serves as motivation to pay it forward whenever I can and to never underestimate the myriad positive ways in which supporting someone else, financially or otherwise, can affect a person’s life.

That goes for both the giver and the recipient. Personally, sharing what I have makes me feel more connected to my community. It adds a little extra meaning and purpose to my life. And it reminds me that even when things are undeniably terrible, we can make choices that prioritize people and invite hope into the world.

So if you’re in a position to provide help, do it.

If you’re in a position to accept help, take it.

Giving is not a one-way street. Ultimately, both parties benefit from this act of connection and caring, especially at a time when life is feeling particularly and persistently heavy.