My friend Andy ran into an acquaintance at the golf course who was soliciting donations for her charity. One of the things I admire about Andy is his generosity. When a homeless person asks for help, when a school or sports team has a fundraiser, he doesn’t hesitate to pull out his wallet.
Another acquaintance had just contributed twenty dollars to the woman’s cause. On this day all Andy had were large bills and a couple singles. Figuring that something was better than nothing, he handed her two dollars. “You’re really only going to give two dollars?” the woman said, instead of “Thank you.” When Andy called me later that afternoon he was depressed about the exchange. I reminded him that the woman’s ungraciousness did not mean that he was unworthy or that he’d done something wrong. Rather, it was a demonstration of where she was at. It never feels good when someone slimes you, but you don’t have to take it on. Similar to if someone tried to hand you their dirty Kleenex, you don’t have to reach out and take it. Knowing that your intention is good is the only validation you really need. As Mother Teresa said, “In the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them, anyway.”