How many gifts come with strings? The anonymous giver is a rarity. People want attention for doing good things, sometimes more than just attention. Sometimes they want people to feel indebted….forever.
The humble taker is as rare a unicorn as the anonymous giver. The myth of the self-made man is much more palatable than the humility of a man who realizes that all he has, is, and will ever be is founded on the generosity of others, many others, who have helped.
And yet generosity without self-interest and abundant gratitude are two qualities that lead to happiness, to community, to joy. We would do well to remember these things.
For more on Anonymous Giving by this author, go here.
There is something about an anonymous gift that brings special joy to both the giver and the receiver. For the person getting the gift, it makes you feel like the whole world cares, that around any corner is the person who cared enough to make your life special. And to the giver, it strips off all the status and pride and self-satisfaction you may get from a public gift and, with the lusciousness of a secret, fills you with love and gratitude that you are in a position to make a difference.
Consider this delightful story about a somewhat anonymous giver, call him George Walker, and his gift to a young boy in the Philippines.
I want to be your new pen pal.
I am an old man, 77 years old, but I love kids; and though we have not met I love you already.
I live in Texas – I will write you from time to time – Good Luck. G. Walker”
Now, after President Bush’s death, we have learned that he was George Walker, but look at how much joy is in his writing when it is semi-anonymous. He is embracing the true spirit of giving.
For more on anonymous giving, take a look at this feature I wrote on anonymous giving filled with inspiring stories.
What are some things you might do anonymously to spread your love?