I’m back in London for the summer. I am on a tight budget, because I’m rebuilding my business after my Mom’s death, and am not willing to generate credit card or other debt. I am in boot-strap mode!
So, when I was planning my trip, I sent out a series of emails to people I know – including a Corporate Responsibility listserve – to say I need a place to stay where I can work from “home” during the day, that’s very low-cost (on the order of £10-£15/day), and centrally-located. A pretty tall order in London.
I had 5 responses.
Come to find out, my hostess in the one I chose gave me her bedroom (she’s on the couch in her lounge/living room), came out on public transport late on a work day to help me maneuver my luggage, is charging me less than half her monthly mortgage, and has even told me (without my saying a word) not to pay her until work starts coming in. Just to help me out. Someone she’d never even met before.
What makes a person be so kind? It almost boggles my mind, that someone would be so generous to a stranger. And this is not the first time I’ve had a similar welcome from someone from this corporate social responsibility world. These are people who, clearly, walk their talk in terms of their values.
It renews my faith that in a city the size and complexity of London, such generosity of spirit continues to flourish. Her support is helping me get my business back up and running, a business which I hope and intend will further contribute good in the world, particularly in the business world.
Long ago, in one of those so-called touchy-feely, woowoo workshops, the leader did an exercise with us about asking for what we need – about putting a request out to the universe and trusting something good will come back. At the time, being very young and cynical, I crossed my arms, went all know-it-all, and said, “yeah, right. Ok, what I need is a TV, because I’m living alone and can’t afford to buy one. Someone’s going to just give me a TV, right?”
Well, darned if someone else in the workshop didn’t put up his hand and say “actually, I have a TV and a VCR sitting in my garage that I’d love to get rid of – I’ll bring them round and install them if you like”.
Ever since then I try to remember to ask for what I need, reach out when I’m struggling, and see what will happen if I connect with other people. The help doesn’t always come in ways I might want (from a particular person, say) or expect, but more often than not, with a little patience, it does come.