"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."Kahlil Gibran
The Nudge, the Woman, and the Bus Pass
Posted January 22nd, 2014
I want to tell you about something called The Nudge.
The Nudge is that inner impression you get . . . a sense that says, I need to move from awareness to action. I need to engage. It could mean helping someone with her car when it’s broken down along the side of the road. It could be helping someone lift a bag into the overhead compartment on the airplane. Or it could even be buying something for someone. The Nudge is when you see a need and you make something happen.
If you follow it, The Nudge will take you places you never thought you’d go. You’ll end up experiencing things you never thought you’d experience—all because you followed this prompting.
One of my favorite stories about The Nudge is a true story about a woman in California. She’d been out of work for quite some time when she finally got a job. But her excitement didn’t last long. Just three days into it, she was depressed and still very low on funds. She wouldn’t get her first paycheck until she’d worked two full weeks, yet she was close to being evicted from her apartment. Somehow she had to get her son to school, and she was concerned about how she was going to provide for him. She couldn’t even afford to buy bus fare.
So one day as she was walking up to an intersection getting ready to cross the street to go to work, this car pulled up in front of her. The window rolled down and the gentleman in the car leaned over and said, “Ma’am, do you ride the bus?”
The woman said, “I can’t afford bus fare.”
The man replied, “I woke up this morning with a strong impression that I should go buy this book of bus passes. I’ve never ridden the bus, and I’ve never bought a bus pass before. This must be for you. Have a nice day.” Then he handed her the passes and drove away.
The woman broke down in tears.
That day, a complete stranger followed a nudge that led him to provide hope for someone who desperately needed someone else’s help. The Nudge is simply that internal sense that says, I need to act. It’s feeling like, I need to do something. I’ve found that the more you follow The Nudge, the more ready you’ll be to identify it in the future, and the more inclined you’ll feel to engage it. When you do, you won’t believe where it takes you.
Brad Formsma, Creator of I Like Giving