Giving Challenge #1: Groceries

One of my goals for this blog is to provide people with ways to give practically in their daily lives.  I want to turn giving into a habit.  I am going to be posting a new “Giving Challenge” once a week. The challenges will require you to give of yourself in a variety of different ways.  This is going to be something that will probably be outside your comfort zone but it is when you are outside your comfort zone that you grow.  Complete the task during the week that it is posted and then comment below about your results.

The first challenge is going to stretch a lot of people both financially and socially.

The Challenge: Pay for another person’s groceries

When you are getting ready to check out, pick someone in line that you would like to give to.  The more frustrated, angry or tired the person looks, the better.  Get behind them in line and when the grocer is done scanning the items, step up and say that you would like to pay for the person.  The person is probably going to refuse right away.  It is pretty awkward to let someone do such a generous thing for you and they probably won’t know how to respond.  As soon as they start to refute, here is what you say to put them at ease:

“A friend of mine gave me the challenge to buy someone’s groceries so that I could practice giving to others.  Giving is something that I want to get better at and you would be doing me a big favor if you allowed me to pay for you.”

You take the pressure off of them by saying this.  They are now doing a favor for you instead of you doing a favor for them.  They will be extremely impressed by this act for two reasons.  The first is that you are willing to pay for another person’s groceries and the second is that you are actively trying to become a more giving person.  They will greatly admire this about you and might even strike up a conversation about what caused you to do this in the first place.  You will have completely changed the course of their day and inspired them to be kinder to the next person they come in contact with.

The grocer and anyone else in line will also notice this good deed and you will have instantly inspired a whole group of people to do something nice for someone else.  Start your ripple effect by stepping out of your comfort zone.

Some of you might be saying that you cannot financially afford to do something like that right now.  Part of this challenge is that you need to be sacrificing of yourself.  If you are a college student and struggling with money then pick out a person that only has two or three items and pay for those.  This might only cost you five dollars but the impact will be worth it.

On the other hand, if you have been blessed to be financially comfortable, then pick out a mom with a full cart and three kids and pay for them.  (Any moms out there who have gone grocery shopping for an hour with multiple kids will tell you how amazing of a gift this would be.)

The moment when the grocer gets done scanning and tells the person in front of you the total will be your moment of truth.  Social pressure will try and force you to keep quiet, but you will need to power through.  Remember the line from above and change someone’s day.  Create a ripple effect of giving.

Don’t let yourself create an excuse about why you shouldn’t do this right away.  Figure out what day you are going grocery shopping this week and promise yourself you will complete this challenge before you leave the store.  Take a risk.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”  ~Seneca


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