The Benefactor Who Became the Beneficiary As a Result of a Few Mustaches

Last night I had a “you know that you know” moment.  If you haven’t been reading along from the beginning, allow me to briefly explain.

You know that you know comes from those moments in life that stop you in your tracks, often in astonishment and leaving you with the “deja vu”, “that was strange” or “that was a coincidence” feeling.  Come on ! We have all had them- and as I get older I have them wayyyyy more times in a week than I used to. I might even venture to say that I have then daily.

Perhaps these “know that you know moments” have increased in my life because I am more aware of them. Perhaps I, or we become more in tune with the universe as our life goes on and we are able to recognize these moments with more definition and more clarity instead of running right through the moment and not recognizing the significance of these quaint, personal experiences.

So now that you have a little history with you “know that you know” – we move on in our story.

My number 2 son needed items for his estimation jar.  This is a jar that is filled with trinkets that you place in a clear plastic container for the children to observe for the week. On Friday, the teacher has each child write down the estimated amount of whatever little goodie is placed in the jar and the winner takes home the goodies and the jar, only to bring it back on Monday with a replenished mystery amount of goodies.  Did you follow all that? Good.

Number 2 got the jar and I was on the hunt for the replenished goodie.  I stopped by the dollar store to scope out the inexpensive selection of various assorted trinkets made in China.  I phoned my Number 2 and gave him a few choices- we settled on something we thought would be a huge hit and then he told me we needed at least 22 trinkets to make sure everyone in the class got one.

I reached in my pocket only to find 6 dollars.  I needed 6 packages- and of course it is the dollar store- so I am short the tax.  I walked up to the cashier and told her I needed to go out to my car and get some change.

In a few seconds my mind flashed back to July where I was in the same dollar store purchasing a ton of balloons for a surprise birthday party and the college kid in front of me had gone over his budget and was in the process of putting items back.  I decided in a split second that however much he was short, just put it on my tab of 50 balloons and whatever else I was purchasing.

As I tried to remember the face of the person I encountered back in July, I turned to run out to my car- and then- the moment I had my hand on the door to go out to my car, a nice lady proclaimed, “maam? I have forty seven cents”- Maybe I was astonished at the kindness that is still abounds in the strangest of places. Kindneess in the dollar store? I am such a skeptic as beneficiary but not a skeptic when I am the benefactor? What is up with that?

I asked her if she was sure-  and then again if she was really sure- and she wanted to do it- and the really amazing thing is that I let her.

For any of you that know me or have similar traits as me, it is difficult for me to allow others to help me.  I like to be independant and depend on nobody. After all I like to be the person that helps other people.  I thanked her a hundred times and promised her I would pay it forward- I walked to my car extremely surprised at myself and asked myself what lesson am I supposed to learn – and it is this:

Once I was the benefactor who was blessed by the willingness of someone to allow me to help them. In that same store I became the beneficiary and was equally blessed.  Maybe we need to be just as willing to accept help as we are to provide it.  By doing this it allows people to become energized and excited about helping others, not to mention the opportunity to feel blessed themselves. They bless you, you bless them. Double the blessings.

The willingness to help others and the graciousness to accept help.

All the way around it is a beautiful thing.

And of course the thing we picked for the estimation jar was a jar full of mustaches.

Gratitude and A Jar Full of Mustaches