Variations on a Theme


28078_416585841743825_386056380_nI didn’t plan, it this way, but it seems the theme of my week is extreme giving.

We, in the prosperous Western World, tend to think we need SO MANY things.  We become enslaved to our stuff.

We have to have an HDTV, so we have to upgrade our internet speed and we need the full NHL package so we don’t miss any games and we need a fast computer to keep up with all of our internet usage and an iPhone so we can keep tabs away from home.  We need a bedroom for each person and a car for every driver and…..

it just goes on and on into an infinite abyss of madness if we aren’t careful.

We get all of these things, and then we think, “Oh, no!  I need to work more hours! I need to get a better job! I need to go back to school (which, of course, means more debt) so I can get a better job so I can pay for all this STUFF!”



I love stuff.  I admit it.  I adore my soft, beautiful new couch and my comfortable sneakers.  I, obviously, enjoy getting online and I like watching Netflix.  Good chocolate and good coffee are bliss.  Stuff can be fun.

But when you start working for your stuff, instead of your stuff working for you, perhaps it’s time to stop and take a moment to re-prioritize.

How much do you really need?  Is there something that you have that you could share and really, truly make a difference in your life?  Would it make a difference in someone else’s life?

Is there an old coat in your closet that doesn’t fit you any more that could be keeping a homeless person warm?

Are you a stay at home mom that no longer uses her business clothes?  There may be a young woman, just starting out, that needs a nice suit to dress for an interview.

Are your children’s old books collecting dust?  The school librarian who is struggling to maintain a decent program despite huge budget cuts may find them to be  a Godsend.

Almost everyone has something they can share.

But, in the spirit of extreme giving, I have to tip my Hippie hat to Tony Tolbert.  This extraordinarily generous man was raised by parents who would regularly lend out their spare room to people in need.  Now, at age 51, a successful Harvard law school graduate, he is moving back in with them, himself.


So that a single mother of 4, who had been living in a shelter, could have his house rent free for a year and get herself back on her feet.

That’s right – he moved out of his house, leaving it fully furnished, and let a stranger in need have it totally free of charge.

(For more about the story, including a video interview, click here.)

THAT is some SERIOUS giving!  Can you imagine how many lives he impacted?  That woman, her children, his neighbors, the other people at the shelter he called to make the offer, the people reading about his story…..

What he did could start ripples that could change the whole world!

The amazing thing about giving… the thing I  learned last month, is that when you start giving, the inevitable result is that you receive   As you bless others you are blessed.  As you meet the needs of others, your needs are met.  As the old saying goes, “you can’t out-give God.”

Let go of your fear.

Be bold!

Be extreme!

Step out in faith.  See what wonderful things lay just on the other side of “what if.”

The world will change when we, as individuals, begin to change.

If you would like to read more about the Hippie Family’s December adventure in giving, Handsome Hippie Hubby is sharing at Joy of Service.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?  Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.  If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!


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