i've been thinking a lot about giving lately. i heard about this guy on NPR that got laid off, + wanted to do something meaningful with all his free time. so he decided to give away $10 a day to a random stranger + then interview them about a.) what they thought about a stranger giving them $10 for no reason at all, b.) what they were going to do with the money, + c.) if they were going to pay it forward... his purpose was to promote giving. whether it be intentionally or randomly... to encourage it as a regular practice in life. 230 days later, he's still at it + getting national recognition for his project... (don't ask me how an unemployed guy has the cash to keep his project funded... but he found a way). then as i was watching Oprah while hitting the elliptical, she was featuring the same idea of giving back... in small, easy ways. teaching your kids that if you buy them a new toy, they get to pick an old one to give away. or if you buy yourself a new pair of shoes, why don't you donate an old pair to charity? giving doesn't have to be only financial either. it can be the smallest gesture or gift. when i first moved here (to nyc) i met up with a friend of a friend for a drink + she gave me the little succulent plant pictured below. i hardly knew the girl, + it probably cost $6, but for being a new girl in a new city, i was so touched + it was the kindest gesture i had encountered in a while. someone special sent me the birdcall necklace out of the blue for no reason at all + it showed up in my mailbox all wrapped up pretty + a total surprise to me. the same week i got the bird candle snuffer also in the mail all wrapped up pretty like with a bag of 100% kona coffee. just because my girlfriend was at an estate sale in alaska, saw it, + thought of me. today i had lunch with my friend hilary. we used to work together 8 years+ ago at a little french bistro. 7 years ago, she made her way here to pursue all things singing (+ incidentally, as i write this she's belting out in her first broadway musical)... + in her first week, she met a stranger on the subway who just happened to be a journalist. she told him she was a new transplant to the city, + he promptly took her by the arm, led her to the nearest bookstore + said "you must read this essay on new york", + bought it for her on the spot. funny enough we just happened to be perusing the shelves of the strand bookstore when she told me this story. to which she added "i'm going to buy the same book for you today... because everyone that moves to new york needs to read it". and she did. such small gestures with such sweeping longevity. when i hear a street busker who's music i particularly enjoy, i give them a few dollars. i gave to haiti thru a few easy texts. i'm incorporating hand written thank you notes + a chocolate bar to say thanks to my clients as a business practice this year... if it's coffee with a friend, i'll always get the tab. again, it's nothing huge... it's an art of giving that i'm after. a lifestyle choice. how do you engage in giving?