Mission 15: Giveaway

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Give something away to which you’re just a little too attached.  Get others to do the same thing.  Donate items to a charity or directly to those in need.

Why?  Because the more you consciously give away, the more will come your way.

4 Mission Notes

  1. Andrew Sullivan

    On July 3, a group of about twenty of us gathered at my house to each chili, salad, and corn bread and gave away some things to which we were just a little too attached. It was a great evening! Today or Monday, I’m going to take the give-away loot to a local charity as a donation. In the photo posted below is my father giving away a beloved golf club.

  2. Andrew Sullivan

    The giveaway loot in the back of my minivan.

  3. Andrew Sullivan

    HOW TO GIVE SOMETHING AWAY

    First, ask yourself for five minutes each morning why it is you love what you love, hate what you hate, and ignore what you ignore. Spend equal time grinding all three lenses as though all three together are needed to see the rooflines of cathedrals, McDonald’s, and Buchenwald meet at infinity. Repeat the questioning each morning until you become uncomfortable enough with the puniness of your snow globe – a placeholder for soul – to do something about it. Precisely the moment discomfort achieves this potency, something to which the irrational you has sung orations out of all proportion – say a unicorn collection’s flagship porcelain unicorn or your more highbrow equivalent – will materialize out of the shaken snow globe’s blizzard in all its fawning, pandering, and obsequious splendor.

    Whatever you do, resist the fawning, the pandering, and the obsequious avalanches of splendor by pretending you’re someone else with more taste, or if that seems improbable, someone else with less taste, or if you’re lost and hypothermal and have given up in the whiteout called relativity, someone else with different taste. The point being, stop madly pedaling that bike propped not quite upright with the training wheels of your likes and dislikes.

    It is normal to feel for the next day or so like a philosopher who has built, concept by concept, a whole system of thought, a lifetime’s system, elegant, meaningful, and entwining matter and spirit, and then had it toppled, without warning, by one unconsidered fact. If you’re out of practice, refer to Cortázar’s “Instructions on How to Cry.”

    An experience of the following type will now transpire and thereby prove that the you you’re pretending to be is now a tad more you than the old you: in the midst of tears, you will suddenly howl with laughter at, though not entirely disavow (that’s key), the thought of the bowel movement as a model for moral development.

    When improved visibility reveals a permanent expansion – qualitative more than quantitative – of the globescape, like a new voice introduced in a fugue, you are ready to one, wrap the flagship porcelain unicorn or highbrow equivalent in a festive tissue, and two, give it away to the dear friend who ever too often admired its perfection.

    A. P. Sullivan

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