• Sam, or Cheerful Giving

    by  •  • LifeStuff • 1 Comment

    When I got up this morning, I made a cursory, obligatory visit to Facebook before I went in the kitchen to get something to eat. I mean, it’s what you do in the 21st century: wake up, check your phone, hit the can, check Facebook, eat, clean up, head out the door.

    I first noticed a “People You Might Know” section that featured the name and a face of a friend I thought I was already friends with. I click the name link and hit their personal page, and sure enough, he who I thought I was already connected with was a stranger, blocking me out from his life photos and clever quotes because, virtually, we were not friends.

    I was a little surprised. It happens. It hurts a little when you discover such things, especially if you are an introvert and filially-challenged. Oh well. Hasn’t been the first FB drop. Won’t be the last.

    The first post on my page that stood out won a video watch, and it was stellar. I love it when people post positive, encouraging stuff- stuff that makes you proud to be human- and this video was definitely one of those. I’ll provide it here.

    In brief, Sam, a young guy and a hip-hop teacher to kids in a city in the Pacific Northwest, sends a video entry into a contest on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. Sam is somehow in the audience of the show this particular day, and Ellen impromptu invites him on the set. She tells him she loves his dancing and gives him a short interview. He is courteous and demurring and grateful. Then she tells him he actually won the competition and presents him with a skyscraper of a trophy. He freaks a little in surprise. “My reward is just sitting here with you”, he says. Ellen then asks him to dance for the audience- so he does and he is amazing. And afterward, Ellen then walks over to his stage to recognize him- and then she lobs a blessing bomb at him. “We know a little more about you than I said. We know you have some student loans and such. Here’s $10,000 to just help you in life.” The kid is visibly stunned, and again, clearly grateful. And the video ends.

    I know this moment was not the only time that Ellen has done such a thing on her show. And sure, talk show hosts can do such a thing as a gimmick. “If I make them look good, I look good.” In Ellen’s case, when I’ve seen other moments like these, though, she just appears to like to find good and needy or talented people and lift them up. Give them a boost.

    I love people who somehow just have this excessive capacity to give. And I’m pretty sure most of us react positively to such people because by such actions, they cut through a lot of noise and irrelevance in life. Such giving is thoughtful and selfless, other-centered and empowering.

    Well, a basic building block of love.

    People who give excessively love a lot.

    I wish I was hugely wealthy if only to be able to give most of it away. And I’m probably not because I’m not very good at managing what I do have. But I do know I could practice becoming that benefactor billionaire in small ways.

    By giving a little bit more to those around me in my life today. Because those good and needy or talented people are around me, if I can just open my eyes to see them.

    And I have plenty I could share from in what I possess right now.

    If you have, you can give.

    Way to go, Ellen. Way to go, Sam.

    And words I find myself rarely saying these days: Way to go, Facebook.

    “… for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

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    A web programmer by day, I somehow still spend a lot of time thinking about relationships, God, and the significance of grace and love in daily events. I am old school in the sense that I believe in the reality of sin, and in the need of each human heart for deliverance to the Divine. I am one of those who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that you can find most answers to life's pressing issues in Him and His Word, the Bible. I ain't perfect, and a lot of the time I ain't good, but by God's grace and kindness, I am forgiven and free.

    One Response to Sam, or Cheerful Giving

    1. January 24, 2016 at 9:21 am

      That’s really touching. Good for him and good for her!

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