Yesterday was an EPIC day as I realized the immense joy of giving. I know… I’m so late in the game. Two memorable things happened.
First, I met my “adopted son” in person for morning walk, first time since the pandemic. Not a real adopted son as he’s 26 years old . But he is someone that the moment I met him, I immediately liked him. He came to work for me 18 months ago for a year. His work ethic, personality, goals/dreams in life really made an impression on me. I liked him even more and encouraged him to apply for a Ph.D. program in the US. I finally convinced him and he’s doing it. I guided him through the entire process (GRE preparation, school selections, statements, etc.), even excusing him from from his boss (who happened to be a good friend and deeply cares about him too), and will make personal calls to professors that I know.
I haven’t done such a thing to anyone ever, but for some reason, my eager to help him, someone that I know for not long, with his career and life is so strong as he’s my son. I don’t ask anything in return but to see he’s pursuing his potential. Yesterday he asked to meet because he’s getting very anxious about the application process, that’s he’s not good enough nor competitive enough to get to graduate school. I gave him the honest pep talk but most importantly I assured him that he has the potential to do whatever he sets to do in life.
Giving my time and thoughts to him made me so happy.
Second, I made someone’s 40th birthday a nice celebration. She’s my BFF in China, we met when we were 18 months old. Crazily long. I didn’t plan to do anything nor even remember it was her birthday, but I knew it’s near this time. We were chatting about something else and then I asked how she plans to celebrate her 40th birthday (just one month before me). She said nothing but that her son said happy birthday in the morning. OMG! It was today. So I immediately felt the need to make it special to her as nobody else is doing. So I ordered a birthday cake to be delivered to her house at dinner time, and sent her a red envelope (it’s part of Chinese tradition of giving cash on special occasions). She was not expecting any of these and was happily surprised.
Through these episodes I realized how much joy it brings me to giving/showing love and care to people that I deeply care about. It doesn’t cost me much but it brings a special moment to them in a surprising way.
I should definitely do more and have some plans that I’ll share with the family during out Thanksgiving dinner.