Seventh grade, no homework, I was living the easy life today relaxing and minding my own business doing whatever is on my mind. But my mom that day had other plans, my mom took me to a good friends, cousins varsity basketball game. I of course would rather be playing Ps4 or Xbox 360 but my mom insisted I attend her to the game. On the car ride to Kettering High School, I could tell my mom was feeling a little guilty forcing me to go. She could tell by my facial expressions I would rather be sticking needles in my eyes. Personally, I hate playing sports and hate watching them even more! My inner child was getting ready to throw a tantrum and start kicking the seats in front of me.
Fifteen minutes later, my mom and I walked into the gymnasium with my legs feeling like lead weights dreading each step. Anyone could tell that I obviously didn't want to be there and it showed with flying colors. My mom started searching the bleachers for Deidre Paul and Michelle Schoof (friends of my mother). Alongside them were their younger children. I sat next to my mom, reached for my pocket and soon realized I had forgot my phone! Time passed on, shot after shot. Kettering was winning with a lead of about 20 points. Still, I sat bored watching the clock drain second by second. Not to mention My back was getting sore. I started to count the ceiling lights. Then the rows of bleachers. Eventually stopped after reading the school record board. I couldn’t stand this agonizing pain anymore, physically and mentally. The clock then buzzed extremely loud causing a little jolt of surprise to all those in attendance including myself. Why did they need the buzzer to be so loud? The gymnasium wasn’t even big for it to be practical. Maybe the players on the court had a hard time hearing it while playing? It’s the same for football, they have the referee blow a super loud whistle, but yet again the players have padded helmets on blocking most sound. But not for basketball. As anyone can definitely tell I was bored to the point where I was rambling about anything to get my mind off the torture. I wanted the game to end regretfully without considering if I was being selfish.
I pondered on this question when two basketball moms were walking around waving strips of tickets, yelling, “Fifty fifty raffle.”
Then repeated, “Fifty fifty raffle. Come get your tickets now.” I could tell that my mom was vulnerable by feeling guilty for taking me to the game.
“Mom?” Selfishly I asked. “Can I please get some tickets. I’ll pay you back when we get home.”
“It’s not necessary.”
As she started ruffling through her purse. Then she handed a wrinkled five dollar bill.
“Thanks mom. This is the winning one,” I said being a little sarcastic.
Minutes later, I had five strips of ten tickets trying fold them up to place in my pockets. Mrs. Deidre’s and Mrs. Schoof’s kids wondered there way to my side of the bleachers.
“Can we have some tickets please?” At first I didn’t want to hand over any tickets incase I gave the winning one away. My stomach was starting to feel unsettling and I felt awkward as I was staring at them with a blank face trying to make up my mind.
But my generosity got the best of me, I caved in. “Of course I’ll give you guys some tickets. Here you go.”
“Say thank you,” Mrs. Schoof and Mrs. Deidre said together almost synchronized as if they done this many times raising their younger children.
Now left with one strip of tickets I didn't feel disappointed as I thought I would feel. I watched them walk away to their mothers with a smile on their faces. My boredom seemed to magically lift away, no longer did going with my mom to the game feel like a burden. I didn't even miss my phone. For the first time in a while felt good inside. I felt warm and fuzzy. Reaching for the last strip of tickets in my pocket, I stared at them for a while. However, when I was staring at the tickets, I no longer felt excited for getting the chance of winning money but already feeling that joyful feeling after I gave the tickets away. Giving the tickets felt rewardful itself. I had discovered the gift of generosity through the perseveration of my selfishness.
By the end of the last quarter the ladies selling the tickets announced that they were calling the winners.
“And the winning ticket number for the fifty fifty raffle is 249300124.”
My numbers matched!
“Whoo, I won!” Shouted a senior student in the stands.
I felt confused. Did he win? Where there two winners? Maybe I read my numbers incorrectly. I soon realized that he was joking with his friends and won nothing. I cautiously approached the girls, still feeling a little confused.
I walked over to her she kindly forked over a wad of ones and fives and tens.
“Congratulations,” she said.
“Thanks,” I responded with a smile.
I won eighty dollars. Holding the thick stack of money felt amazing. I sped walked over to show my mom as if she didn’t hear the lady say I won. I began lightly tapping my feet on the ground trying to contain my excitement.
“I still feel excited.” I told my mom rudely interrupting my mom's conversation with Mrs. Deidre, “Why did I win?” I asked simultaneously.
“Well because you deserve it, you're a good guy.” She responded.
I took this to heart. Even though my mom probably said this to get back to the conversation with her friends I felt as if I witnessed the internal gift of generosity and my mom knew I had it in me all along. I just haven't unleashed it until now. As I was sitting there the warm fuzzy feeling started brewing inside of me again but this time to full effect. People say that bad things you do catch up to haunt you when you least expect it. However, no one mentions this with good things that you do. The good karma is underestimated to the point where you have to experience it first hand like I to discover the gift of generosity and the outcome of it. Even without winning a tangent reward, making someone's day big or small is beneficial enough.