03 July 2008

$112 and hope in place of despair

I have a friend. (Hard to believe, I know...let's move on.)

I have a friend who has been trying to kick a vice. I have a friend who has been trying to be rid of not only a habit, but the thought process that leads to the habit.

We were sitting having tacos not too long ago when we sort of stumbled upon an experimental idea that we hoped would change both that thought process and habit.

We decided that every time my friend thought of (yearned for, desired, craved, or even casually pondered) the vice, a dollar would be dropped into a bucket, with the proceeds going to a charity that means a great deal to my friend.

The idea would be that we would replace the desire for something destructive with a simple yet meaningful act of charity. We would turn thoughts and actions that lead to brokenness and heartache into thoughts and actions that lead to fullness and joy.

Did it work?

Well, this week my fried pulled me aside and let me know that in less than a month, $112 had been raised to feed the children of of the shanty-towns of Johannesburg through Pastor Willie in South Africa.

But did the technique work?

From the look in my friend's eyes as I was told of the amount - a look of satisfaction and hope - makes me believe that maybe we're really on to something.

To my friend - thanks for trying generosity as a remedy. I pray that the fullness in your eyes does not soon leave your heart.

To the rest of us - maybe we all have something that could use a little generosity therapy.

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