Give Your Gum Away

Posted on November 30, 2013

Have you ever wanted something but didn’t know how to ask for it?

I discovered this dilemma while having a conversation on an airplane somewhere over the Midwest. I began to chat with a random guy in the seat beside me and felt like we were building a decent flight friendship when he pulled out a packet of Juicy-Fruit gum. Immediately my mouth began to water for the sugary goodness. I knew in my heart that he would offer me a piece so I began to set my mouth for the explosion of fruity flavor. He gingerly unwrapped his piece of gum, all the while nodding at my pointless conversation, and placed it into the cavernous hole in his face. He then very deliberately stowed the last 3 pieces in his carry on bag. My ears burned with disgust and I immediately made a judgment call on his slimy character, “A man who won’t offer me a stick of gum probably wouldn’t save his mother from an angry herd of elephants,” I thought.

Just knowing that soon my ears would be popping through the pain of pressurization from the altitude changes made me fume. All of this needless suffering could be avoided if this inconsiderate nincompoop would offer me some gum. Wow, I just used the word nincompoop in a real sentence and way too many adjectives, but it was fun.

I was super steamed and had to calm my irrational thought patterns.  I realize that he probably didn’t think about it, but the concept of giving your gum away stuck with me. Something seemingly small could’ve gone a long way in building our friendship.  I understand that I horribly prejudged his character based on a small action, but let’s save that for later.

What small things am I missing on a daily basis with the people that I come into contact with? The concept of giving your gum away is one that we should all adopt on a frequent basis. Look for an opportunity to invest in someone else and don’t wait for them to ask, offer it now. This season search for ways that you can be preemptive in giving. Find something that someone is missing and be the answer.

I’m committed to consistently give my gum away as often as possible, I hope you will too.  Remember, it’s the little things that make big differences.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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