Giving beyond the grave

Everyday thousands of Londoners scurry about in their day to day duties consciously ignoring the ever growing number of homeless and needy people who sleep rough on the entrance of tube stations or on street corners. London is touted as the richest part of Britain but on the flipside it also has the highest rates of poverty and inequality. The number of unemployed Londoners is now above 400,000, the highest number since 1996, and the rate is rising more quickly than the national average.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself when was the last time you gave your time or money selflessly in the hope it will make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate than you. The greatest happiness in life does not come from the trappings of wealth but from the power of giving.

I recently read the story of Aaron Collins who took great joy in unexpected kindness. Once after receiving exceptionally bad service at dinner, from a rude waitress, he left her a $50 tip. Things like this, given or received, were what he thought left a mark on a person’s life.

Aaron unfortunately passed away on July 7, 2012 just 3 weeks after his 30th birthday. But even in his death he wanted to make a difference, his last wish before dying was for his family and friends to have a pizza and leave a $500 tip.

Collins’s brother, Seth, set up a website and PayPal account to pay for the tip but within 24 hours, the Collins family had received more than $10,000. Enough to leave a $500 tip 20 times over.

“The stories, comments, and notes have touched my heart. They have given my mother, father, sisters, and me strength. The way my brother’s last wish has inspired people is incredible.” Seth wrote on the site.

The family went to Puccini’s in Lexington to give the first $500 tip to a random waitress and make Aaron’s wish come true. Watch the video below and I hope it inspires you to do a random act of kindness.

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