Here is one blog that will require a little reader participation if you don't mind. I promise I won't ask you to do anything embarrassing, I only hope to find out your opinion on a certain matter after I explain my situation and present the two views I see before myself.
Shortly after putting Natalie down for a nap this afternoon, I put Zachary in his stroller and prepared to go down and check the mail. Upon stepping out of my door I came upon a brand new, in the packaging, Singing Pizza Elmo toy sitting against the right side of the small alcove that is ours alone. I searched it for some sort of note or indication of who it might be intended for, besides the obvious, or who it may have come from; my search was in vain. I left the mystery Elmo outside exactly where I had found it as I planned on asking some of my friends in the building if they had any answers to my questions. No one knew anything about the little red guy. So now the concern is, do I keep it or toss it?
My first instincts are to get rid of it. I may be considered paranoid for this thought, but if I don't know where or who it came from I am not going to give it to my children. In a time when we are told not to open mail with no return address because of anthrax, or when we watch the candy our children get at halloween to make sure none has been tampered with, I feel a gift with no note left on your doorstep could fall under the same category. For all I know someone could've put a razor somewhere inside just waiting for the unsuspecting child to find it, or it could be laced with some sort of dangerous material or chemical that upon inspection I would not even be able to discover or notice. It may seem harsh to have that point of view, but I have read too many news stories about things happening to people that I find unreal and appalling. Who would do such things? Certainly it would never happen to me! But the reality is that there are people out there who do these types of criminal acts and it could happen to me. I don't want to be the naive one who goes about thinking I can't be touched by any of those crimes that 'only' happen to others. Personally I have had some of those experiences myself and I know first hand it touches more people then we realize- but that's another story for another time.
After talking to a friend who always sees the glass as half full, I had to consider the other side to it. Her first thoughts were that someone was trying to be kind and bless us anonymously, which I have to admit is not unheard of. I would consider it such a sweet and wonderful blessing if someone having seen we have 2 small children decided to give us this toy that either they bought specifically for that purpose or that they themselves already had but didn't need or want, either way it would be an extremely thoughtful gesture. And to do it anonymously is to show great humility in not wanting any attention by means of praise or repayment brought on themselves, but just to be generous purely out of the goodness in their hearts. How can I reject something given with a humble heart like that? It would be so great to know there are still good people out there who do such random acts of kindness in a time when all we focus on is the negative within life.
Now it is time for your participation. What would you do in this situation? Discard the nice new toy for fear of some ill that may come from giving it to the children from an unknown source, or accept it as a humble and kind gesture from a thoughtful stranger? Or do you see a third option?