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Proof Positive: Generosity As a Business Model

Good works are links that form a chain of love.
— Mother Teresa

My nickname is eleven-fifty-nine. That is the time I show up at the bank on Saturdays. They close at noon. I know the tellers. They laugh each week when I come in. I laugh too. I always promise I will try to get there earlier next week. I never do.   Life just gets in the way.

I went to the bank this past Friday. It is my writing day, and I was writing what you are now reading. I got there about 10 a.m. The tellers laughed, checked their imaginary or real watches and wondered out loud what day it was. I told them not to expect this from me again.

As I filled out the deposit slip, an unkempt, scraggly man carrying a satchel got in line. I noticed the tellers paying attention to him and his sack. My anti-terrorism paranoia took over and I watched as he made his way through the line. I finished filling out my deposit slip and got in line, two people behind him.

He was not your typical stone-faced, impatient customer. He smiled and nodded at the tellers. They each kept a keen eye on him. I heard him tell one teller “today’s the day.” My paranoia burst into full bloom.

When he got to the front of the line, he reached into his bag.

“I got a surprise for you,” he said, grabbing out of the bag something with a handle.

I took the cell phone out of my pocket.

Proof Positive

He took something out of the bag:

5 Comments to
Proof Positive: Generosity As a Business Model

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  1. thanks i really enjoyed reading it

    i had a fight with my father and we havent spoken for like a week.

    i know hes way too stubborn and proud, but am going to try stimulating his mirror neurons a bit hehe

  2. Great article! I love the things you bring out. I’m quoting you, discussing it and tweeting it here:

  3. Monday night I was in Newark airport waiting for my daughter to arrive from Canada. I was sitting, minding my own business, reading a book. I was approached by a neatly dressed middle-aged African American male wearing a backpack.

    His story was that he’d just arrived from Atlanta and his daughter was supposed to pick him up, but on the way she’d been involved in a car accident. Could I help him out?

    We’d just had a conversation about this very thing at my office the previous week and I heard all the warnings going through my head: con, set-up, danger-danger.

    He was interrupted by his phone a couple of times and I closed my eyes and prayed. He asked, “So you really can’t help me?” He’d never actually asked for anything.

    I said, “I’m praying, give me a minute.” I closed my eyes again and then told him I could give him $10. He thanked me and I said, “God bless you.”

    Was I conned? Probably. But we were both blessed.

  4. Great advice!

    I have found my own marketing campaigns to be more successful when you focus on what OTHERS want and doing good in some way rather than just what you’re after

  5. XO@


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