September 25, 2010

A gift a day

My neighbours are building a house. And they are giving me wood.
They are in their late 60s.  There is a wife and a husband, and I don't know them well.  I have lived in my house for three years, and for most of that time, they had their little old house next door rented.
But then they decided to tear down the old house, rebuild, and live in the new place.  I can tell it's exciting for them.  They have a contractor doing the construction with a few men.  The husband comes every day too and works alongside.  The whole project fascinates me, because I have never built a house and it seems amazing to me how they know, always, what the next step is.
I have learned that there is a lot of scrap lumber when you build a house.  And every day, the husband cuts the scraps of lumber into pieces and piles it in my carport for me. Pieces small enough to fit in my wood stove.  Most days, when I look out, I have gifts waiting for me as the pile has gotten a little bigger.
I know that they don't have to do this.  I am touched that they do.  With me, they are creating a bank account of goodwill that will last a long time.
In business, as in other areas of life, gifts for no reason are priceless.  Seth Godin speaks of this.  My neighbours and my woodpile remind me of this daily.  What have I given away today?  Who could benefit from something that I know or can do?
Each of us has something of value that can be contributed freely.  What gifts do you give away?

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