CUP OF COFFEE, WARM HUG, DAY OF DAYCARE, CONSULTING FOR A START-UP...
You might have come across #GivingTuesday on your social media feed earlier today. You might have wondered (at least, I did)... what is Giving Tuesday?!
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that inspires and encourage us to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform our communities and the world on December 3, 2019 (and every other day... ideally). It was conceived in 2012 with a novel idea - a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past few years, this concept has grown into a global movement that has inspired hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
People have always found big and small ways (every day) to show appreciation, spread joy, donate, or just do something nice for someone else... without the need of setting aside GivingTuesday or WorldKindness days. But, it is always nice to have a little reminder or nudge... akin to the meeting-reminder that pops-up 15 minutes before the important team meeting! Jokes aside, oftentimes, these acts of kindness go unnoticed or under-appreciated, but every once in a while, these good deeds end up inspiring thousands, or even millions (like a domino effect). Check out this inspiring and thought-provoking Facebook group called Human Kind Stories.
For my part to celebrate Giving Tuesday, I am offering you (the reader) a cup of coffee, a warm hug, day of daycare, or consulting and advisory support for your start-up or small business.
Per a research study, when people benefit from kindness they ‘pay it forward’ by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network. One simple act of generosity, consideration, or thoughtfulness can have a domino effect – eventually touching people you may have never met. In a very real way, a simple act of kindness can expand your positive impact on the world beyond the limitations of your individual reach.
If you have read (or scrolled) thus far, then you must be a good friend or really intrigued by this article. So, I want to share a rather thought-provoking story set in the town of Venice called the "coffee on the wall".
Coffee On The WalL
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring town of Venice, Italy, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, “Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.” We heard this order with keen interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two. When he left, the waiter put a piece of paper on the wall saying “A Cup of Coffee”.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he put a piece of paper on the wall saying, “A Cup of Coffee”.
It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left. After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man who appeared to be rather poorly dressed entered the shop. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, “One cup of coffee from the wall.”
The waiter served coffee to this man with the same customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the trash.
Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.
Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him… he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.
Inspired by this story, I am offering two-hour consulting sessions to five different start-ups or small businesses. No payment or future obligations... just send me a message and we get to work! Think of this as my coffee on the wall.
A final thought, we might not be able to see it or measure it, but if we all make a conscious choice to be kind, we can create the kind of world we want to live in. As someone once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
"Observant strategist who enjoys theorizing business practices even in his spare time"