Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Friday, July 07, 2017

Give a fraction of what you have

My brother once told me, “it is more blessed to give than to receive’’, quoting the Bible.  That was so long ago.  I was a kid then, and don’t even remember the context now.
 
Today, I was reduced to tears when I received a small donation and subsequent message for the cause I am supporting.  And for the first time, I felt in my heart the truth and impact of this quote.
 
You see, this donation was from a total stranger.  He saw my fundraising page online, and decided to make a small contribution.  His message next to his name - ‘’In memory of Jim and Vivian Riddle’’. 
 
Now, if you are a public figure or an extrovert, you would be so used to contributions and messages from strangers.  You would even have publicised your cause and canvassed for the donations via social media.  But I am a very private person and confirmed introvert who blushes even when friends sing the birthday song to me.  And so I canvassed by personal persuasion, sending personal messages to contacts individually.
 

When I wrote a note of thanks to the donor, his reply warmed my heart:
 
‘’Delighted to be a small part. I promise, each year, I will increase this amount. My parents lived in LP in the late 60s and early 70s, until the war ended. I worked out of LP for a short time, as well, same time frame. I'm very proud of what has been accomplished since that time frame, by all involved. Of course, children always come first.  Thank you Janet, for all you do and all you are. Honoured to make connection.’’
 
Luang Prabang has a special place in the heart of this donor, the way it has in mine, since my very first visit there 10 years ago.
 
Last year when I ran the race, I too received a donation from a stranger.  And his reply to my thank you message was:
 
‘’Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and passion for Luang Prabang, its race and its hospital. A group of us started the race hoping that other people would love it too, and as the original volunteers have spread right across the world (literally, US, Dominican Republic to name just two!) it makes me so happy to see this happening. It's even more so because this is probably going to be my first year of not attending.... so I'm really happy to make a small contribution through you!’’
 
I should be thanking my donors, but they turned around to thank me instead.
 
I have shared with many of my friends about how happy I’d felt when I finally made the decision to participate in the race again this year (I had wanted to take a break from it, initially).  Really, it doesn’t take much to be happy, and to feel blessed the way my ‘’stranger-donors’’ felt, and to be able to give in my own small way (running the race, raising funds…).
 

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