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Give 32: A Day of Penance

Penance: A voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some wrong doing
I was a smoker for 15 years starting in my teens. I loved smoking. Cigarettes became my best friend. They were there through the good times and the bad. They were comforting and no matter what they stayed with me through thick and thin. Odd relationship I had with a substance that was killing me. I did a rough calculation of the number of cigarettes I smoked over the course of my relationship with them.  I smoked on average 1/2 pack a day for 15 years making it around 68,500 cigarettes Wow.

I came across this article on a site called Listverse that was titles 30 Fascinating Cigarette Facts.
I won’t even begin to preach or list all the reasons to choose not to smoke but I do know I have a little payback to do. Somewhere between the second hand smoke I blew back into the atmosphere and the cigarette butts I dropped on the ground I often feel like I need to do what I can to give a little back to the world as my repentance.

Give 32 / Day 32
I had the pleasure of taking a morning to myself today. My husband spends quality time with our son on Saturday mornings and I get a few hours to get some sanity back and to catch up on everything. My spare time usually involves a work out, cleaning house and working.
Today I decided to take some pure sanity time. I took a walk down to the the sea wall. It was a beautiful fall day and I had a mission. The first was to enjoy walking all by myself, no dogs, no child – just me, myself and I and second to pay a little penance along the way.
I packed a garbage bag, put my music in my ears and went on a mission to pick up some cigarette garbage. I wasn’t going to stand on a soap box and preach to anyone that would listen to stop smoking but I could pick up all the remains I could find from boxes to butts. I hate to think how many I left in my trail over the years. I did well, 8 empty cigarette boxes, lots of small pieces of paper that inform smokers of the health risks of smoking and a handful of butts. It may not make amends for all my years of smoking but it was a GIVE that made up for one day of my personal smoking habit and will be an on going commitment for years to come.
Time Commitment: 10 minutes of picking
Cost: 0

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)