Giving BACK

No surprise I am a compassionate and empathetic person. At least I *hope* it’s no surprise! I also value other people’s time, opinion, experience, and feelings. And with that I want to tell you what I try to do every week. I give back to people that have given me something that makes me happy – or changes my life for the better – but I try to show that thanks in a way they need most.  Money.  Sometimes I can’t do it every week, but I at least try every week.  Sometimes all I have to give is my time, a blog comment, re-Tweet, or a honest to God heartfelt complement or word of thanks.  That I *can* do every day.

As strange as it sounds, I’m going on a Rick Springfield cruise this November.  I’ve been to 10 concerts of his so far.  Not only is the cruise a unapologetic gift to myself (from myself), but it does in a way reward and thank RS for /cough/ 30+ years of his music to me, he gets money from it.  Not the most direct way to show my appreciation, but counting myself in a tiny percentage of rabid RS fans that would pony up the money and float around on the ocean for 4 days DOES say thanks better than any other way I could think of.

Secondly, I love love love Matthew Ebel, have for years, and finally realized that maybe I should show a ‘starving musician’ exactly what his music means to me – with money.  So I bought a one year VIP subscription to his fan club and music.  I already purchased every CD and track he’s released, but this was my above and beyond thank you for years of robots, ninjas, crayons, and piano ballads he’s made.  I tell the world about him every chance.  I am confident I have turned more than a few people into Ebel fans as well.

Drew Olanoff at Blame Drew’s Cancer is a story that kind of hit me in a weird way.  I’ve met Drew at  Podcamp Philly, and although I’m certain he doesn’t remember me, his personal story of cancer hits home closer than a lot of people may ever know.  I remember very vividly when that Tweet came across when he brought the fact he had cancer public.  The fear it struck in me to how it must feel to say it out loud, how it makes it real somehow hit me right in the gut.  I bought a tee shirt, I donated to Livestrong.  I gave money, but I’m not sure I made a difference.  I sure as hell hope *he* does.  Sometimes money alone doesn’t make it better.

Tonight I gave a few Starbuck coffee’s worth of money to my favorite author J.C. Hutchins via Podiobooks.  I will purchase every book he ever writes.  I have downloaded every audio novel he’s ever spoken.  I wanted to thank him more, so I gave him some money.  I am lucky enough to get to chat with him via Twitter every now and again, and would empty my pockets for him if I could just so he could sit home every day and WRITE.  I absolutely love his work.  I’m only sorry and sort of ashamed I hadn’t clicked that donate button years ago.

Am I so flush with cash I can click away at any PayPal Donate button I see?  No.  Am I more passionate about things I enjoy and love more than other people?  Maybe.  Do I feel that I need to show my appreciation for things I value in a way that *they* place value on? YES.

What do you value and love so much you would open your wallet & say “thanks”?

[tags]blamedrewscancer, jc hutchins, matthew ebel, podcamp, rick springfield[/tags]