I have needed new running shoes for about two weeks now. My issue with this problem is that it’s still somewhat painful for me to go into a running shop, plop down $130, and walk out with a product which I know will only last me for 3-4 good months. Running shoes, I have found, are built to support temporarily and then quickly fall apart.
I have started doing more in depth research when it comes to shopping for running shoes. I suppose I could blame it on the economy…why not? Yesterday I knew exactly where I could get a pair of last seasons Mizuno’s for $95, quite a discount considering that I originally bought these shoes for $125 nearly a year ago. So, I went to the shop, picked out my size, went to the check-out line, signaled for my wife; and we started talking. We started talking about, of all things, money, and how we were going to accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish over the next 7 months on what we were currently making. It wasn’t a discouraging conversation, money is not something we usually spend a lot of time worrying about regardless if we have a lot or a little, but there was a sort of tension associated with our words. At that very moment, a young woman jumped into our conversation and changed the direction of our words. She approached us from behind and very quickly proceeded to hold out her hand which contained a piece of slightly crumpled, white paper. She asked us if our shoes were going to cost us more then $45, and after we responded, “yes”, proceeded to hand us the small piece of paper. Before we even had time to look her in the eye and respond, she was gone. I honestly didn’t even see what she looked like. The piece of paper she handed us was a discount coupon for $25 off of any purchase greater then $45. I wound up getting my $125 originally priced shoes for only $75.
I will remember that young lady for the absolute rest of my life not because she was beautiful (although she may have been), not because she was exceedingly smart (although she may have been), and not because she was overwhelmingly wealthy (although she may have been) . I will never forget her because of one reason, she chose to give. She could have walked out of that store with coupon in hand, never helping anyone, never inducing a lasting connection, never making a difference. It would have been easier to not have approached us, to not have started an awkward conversation, and to not have given anything away. But, she chose to take a slightly more challenging path, a path of interaction, of care and of giving; and because of her choice she changed my life.
Times are changing, but much of what is important in life is staying the same. One foundational aspect of life which I believe will never change is that it doesn’t matter how much you are able to keep for yourself, rather; it matters only how much you are willing to freely and genuinely give away. I believe that history will adamantly remember those that willingly and joyfully gave away all that they possibly could, those that chose to go out of their way to reach out a giving hand to another.
Today, I run with a smile.