A few summers ago, Jim and I were driving to our summer vacation destination of Ocean City, Maryland. We came upon the toll booth to the Bay Bridge in Maryland and as we inched our way up to pay the entry fee, Jim remarked (as he did almost every year) that if he’d have bought an EZ Pass, we wouldn’t have been waiting in a long, slow line.
When we got up to the toll booth, the booth employee said “The car in front of you has paid your toll…Have a nice day…”
I think we were momentarily speechless while we absorbed the fact that someone, who didn’t even know us, had been so generous as to pay for our toll…
Fast forward to a recent occurrence in which, as an event chairperson, I received a very generous check in the mail for an event I am helping to coordinate. When I called the donor to thank him, I asked him how he would like his sponsorship to read on the poster (that would be displayed on an easel as guests walked into the event). He said, “I wish to remain anonymous”.
I thanked him again and we hung up the phone. I felt amazed at the unselfish act I was just witness to.
I am lucky to know people who, day after day, do things out of the goodness of their hearts to “pay it forward”. Some have been given ample financial means and wish to share the fruits of their success with others. Others have been through troublesome times and have emerged, strong and faithful, and mean to help (with a full heart) to pay forward the gifts they have received.
But what about those who do things anonymously? This is another thing entirely in my book. I sense there is something ego-less, unselfish, and spiritually mature about this type of behavior. To do acts of loving kindness and generosity without announcement or fanfare, is truly something special in my eyes.
Though I do not have the means lately to be financially generous, I try to do anonymous acts daily that benefit others in small ways. I believe this to be a crucial part of my spiritual growth and maintenance. And, I really don’t have to spend much (or anything at all!). I can leave extra change as a tip, put money in parking meters, do a kind act for a stranger. No one sees me and I try and resist the urge to puff myself up and go telling on myself.
If I give an anonymous gift, I know what I did….and so does God. And really, that’s everyone who needs to know.