“And after many days, it will come back buttered” – This is a quote from Louisa May Alcott – author of Little Women….
My father used to quote this to me all the time, and to be honest I didn’t always get what he was saying. As I’ve got older though, I’ve come to appreciate that it’s true…
For the last two months, and for one more (at least) – I said that I would give away 5 prints of anything on my website, to which the public have access, to the first five people that ask for them.
The motivation behind this was from a book I’d read, called ‘The Gift’, and it talked about the art of giving. I’d hesitated for quite a long time before I went ahead and made this offer – partly because I wasn’t sure that anyone would actually WANT anything (or that it could be seen as arrogance), and partly because I was afraid that they wouldn’t…. I wasn’t sure which was the worst….
So, for better, or for worse – I made the offer. What really astounded me was the number of requests – and not just the requests, but the responses afterwards.
The images have been sent entirely to people I have had some contact with – people from camera clubs as far afield as the North West, and others (including individuals), more locally in Derbyshire, Leeds and Lincolnshire. There has been no contact at all from complete strangers which is interesting in itself.
It was fascinating to see what people picked to have, and more fascinating still that three people said they wanted a particular sort of image, but left me to choose which one of that set to send them. One person said that if I picked my favourite, then he would know that when he hung it on the wall….
Another talked of being a little ‘down’, and how much receiving something nice in the post cheered them up – and yet another sent me a photo of the image already in a frame, hanging on the wall, within a couple of hours of delivery.
All this has left me feeling cheered too – there are good things happening all around us, which maybe we don’t take enough notice of. It’s not just about the giving (though I have to say I have enjoyed it very much), it’s about the response to an unconditional gift.
I realise that this is not something for everyone, but honestly I can recommend that everyone should try this – at least once.
I will do the ‘give-away’ again at the start of June, and then see how it goes from there.
In conclusion I also want to say a massive THANK YOU to all the people who have requested images – to those who have sent such lovely messages back afterwards – and to those who have sent me pictures of the pictures…..
To those who asked for images who were not in the first 5 – you have one more chance…. at the start of June….
Get your fingers ready…..