“It was an accident,” he said. “My mom tripped, bumped into me, and said that this was for you.” And with that, Jed gave me a gift from his mother. He said, “I know you would like to do something for her, and you are going to ask me anyway, so I’ll just tell you; she likes seascapes.”

The gymnastics competition has afforded me little time to paint or draw, but I did have a bit of time one morning and I was able to knock out this painting of the Big Sur bridge and the ocean. I was very happy to give this to Jed for his mother’s kindness, but I was even happier to tell him how her gift to me had multiplied.

I was able to give the gift to another coach because I saw a way that they could use it with and for his gymnasts. The other coach was honored, but let me know he had several of his own, and therefore wasn’t in need of the gift I gave him. As such, he gave it back to me. Beautiful, I got to receive again. Not that there is more joy in receiving than giving, but I got to watch a beautiful man be kind to me.

The next person I gave the gift to, I knew could use it. Despite all the protestation she made, I knew she needed it. Thankfully, she accepted it and despite her need, she knew I could use it myself, and so she re-gifted it to me.

I still have it, and have successfully tried to give the gift away 44 times since. But, it seems people would rather give than receive, and the gift always comes back to me. I gave it to the kids, and they gave it back. I gave to other coaches, they returned it as well. I even gave it to some parents, a homeless woman on the street, and a man who needed a ride downtown. I gave away this precious gift, and yet it is still in my possession at this moment.

It was the gift of a hug.

And as such, it was the gift of kindness. It was the gift of love. Whether or not you have been given the gift or not, you can be like Jed’s mom, and give it away. Go have an “accident”.