“One Bad Apple Actually Helped a Whole Bunch”

Okay, I have to admit that is a much more politically correct version of my original title: “The Grinch-Bag That (Almost) Stole Christmas!”

What do I love most about my life?

The amazing people who surround me in their circular orbit of coolness.

One of these individuals is Dawn. We were close friends way back in the days of my first marriage.

Although we drifted apart for a number of years (life gets busy), I have always been super-proud of her.

She has single-mom-raised her beautiful daughter Alexis for about two decades.

I admire her work ethic, her integrity and her humble awesomeness.

In November she reached out and asked what she could do to help our BeachBum Philanthropy giving mission.

After some fun messages back and forth followed by her shopping and baking efforts, we set up a place to meet.

I think my car was riding the rims after it was loaded!

Big thanks also go out to Dawn’s fiance Doug who piled on the giving too.

I love people who find joy in giving.

The Givers of the world are rock stars. in my book.

The Takers of the world, who think it is okay to reap the rewards of others who worked for it, are douchebags.

Several weeks later, I spied a social media post from Dawn: “Did ANYONE see who took my bag at Macy’s this afternoon?!?!”

She had put one of her shopping bags down for a brief moment…and someone took it.

What was inside?

A very special Christmas gift for a very special person.

The results? Nothing, zip, nada.

Dawn being Dawn, she made her peace with it.

Two days later, an envelope arrived at the restaurant where she has worked for the past two decades.

In it was a note to Dawn saying how wonderful a person she is…and a Macy’s gift card for $100.


Again, Dawn being Dawn…she called to tell me about this generous gift and asked if it could be used to help out one of the non-profits we work with.

Another wow.

One amazing act of kindness.

One really terrible act of thieving greed.

One outstanding act of anonymous generosity.

One incredible hand-off, paying forward that act of kindness.

This past weekend, that gift certificate helped a half-dozen families who occupy a local shelter which helps women with kids get back on their feet.

When I reached out to them last week to see what they needed, they immediately replied: bed sheets and linens (twin), kitchen utensils, storage containers and silverware.

My sweet beautiful Tina (a professional shopper, by my estimation) stretched that hundred dollars as far as she could, maximizing this generous gift.


Not only did one bad apple NOT spoil the whole bunch, in a roundabout way it actually helped.

It’s like a farmer who drops a steaming pile of crap in the soil to make something beautiful grow.

In case you’re not keeping score: Farmer Dawn made something awesome grow where a human piece of crap parked his/her poison.

This is why Dawn remains my friend after all these years.

She finds the good, eventually, no matter what.

We all can: in our businesses, our personal lives, our relationships…anywhere.

Are you a victim of someone’s bad decisions?

Is there a way you can turn it around, bounce it off the wall a different way, to create a victory for yourself…or somebody else?

Would it have been fun to see the thief get caught and tumbled down an escalator?

I’ll admit, I would have laughed if that happened, because I choose to believe that karma is a duct-tape bikini-wax just waiting to happen.

What Dawn did was off-the-charts generous, and it helped make positive waves where someone had plunked a Baby Ruth in the pool.

It’s not what happens TO us, it’s what we DO with it.

Thank you Dawn!



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