Backyard Birds, Everyday Epiphany, humor, Outdoors

A Second Helping

“Yes, I’ll take your offer. I’ll do it to help the birds,” I texted the Facebook Market Place shopper.

The object of negotiation, an unused still in the box AC/DC adaptor charger for a Droll Yankee Flipper bird feeder battery, sold for $29.88 online. The potential buyer offered $5- a $3 reduction of my reasonable $8 listed price.

In keeping with the middle “R” of environmentalists’ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle maxim, I listed recently found long lost garage items on Facebook Market Place. Running boards ripped off my Acura MDX when I sideswiped an ice-covered snowdrift, ice skates relegated to a top shelf to avert a broken hip, and now the mistakenly ordered Droll Yankee Flipper AC/DC adaptor charger populated my listings. 

I listed the recently found long lost Droll Yankee bird feeder AC/DC adapter on Facebook Market Place at a reasonable price. At least I thought it was reasonable.

However, the requested 37.5% price reduction irked me.

Yes, it would be better than $0.

Yes, it would free up a bit of garage space.

Yes, it would be used.

Still, asking $3 off? Suggesting $1 off, I understood. It’s bartering- part of the Market Place culture. 

Normally, I would have countered, but as I said, I was irked. 

The Droll Yankee Flipper bird feeder deterred the wiliest squirrels.

Then I thought of the backyard birds. The Droll Yankee Flipper bird feeder deterred the wiliest squirrels from stealing seed. The motor activated and turned the perching area flipping off heavier than songbird critters attempting to feed. The motor needed a battery and the battery needed a charger.

It was within my power to help cardinals and juncos and chickadees if only I accepted the irksome 37.5% price reduction.

After firing off my “help the birds” text, a warm feeling thawed my irksomeness. It felt right to let this one go. Maybe the shopper would sell the charger to someone else for 37.5% more than he paid me. Still, that someone else would have needed it to flip off wily squirrels from their Droll Yankee Flipper. In the end I helped some birds someplace.

“So, you’ll take the $5 for the charger?” the shopper clarified.

“Yes, I’ll let it go for $5,” I answered, “I’ll do it to help the birds.” We arranged a no contact porch pick up.

“It’s more for the gas than anything else,” he explained.

“Whatever . . .” I replied.

While helping wildlife by underpricing a battery charger wasn’t in the Mother Teresa category of helping, that choice turned around my mood.

I’d heard about how helping others helped yourself. Since the basis of my knowledge stemmed from a “Friends” episode about Phoebe and Joey debating whether or not selfless good deeds existed I thought I’d further research the topic using more authentic data than a ‘90s sitcom. 

After Googling “helping others” and reading several psychology-based articles, I found myself leaning towards Joey’s stance (or was it Phoebe’s?). The articles supported the opinion that truly selfless good deeds were rare since the good deed doer benefited as well as the good deed recipient. Of course, my following research HAD to be true since I read it on the Internet!

Helper’s High

Harvard researchers found that those who contributed time or money were 42% more likely to be happy than those who didn’t contribute. These good deeds produced endorphins that lit up the “pleasure” area of our brains. Psychologists compared it to a mild version of a “morphine high” and called it “helper’s high.”

My meager $3 “helping the birds good deed” might have raised my happiness level one-bazillionth per cent!

Live Longer

People fifty-five and older who volunteered for two or more organizations had a 44% lower likelihood of dying than those who don’t. The “do-gooder” lifestyle was more beneficial than exercising four times a week. Volunteering protected health two times as much as an aspirin safeguarded the heart. 

I calculated that my “helping the birds good deed” equaled about a second on the treadmill. Every step counted!

Less Stress

The Clinical Psychological Science journal reported about a 2015 study regarding good deeds and stress. Seventy-seven adults documented stressful events during their day. They also recorded kind deeds performed. Researchers found that those who performed more kindnesses experienced less stress.

My “helping the birds good deed” wiped out the irksomeness caused by negotiating the cheapskate offer- an “even-steven” outcome.

Good Example

Performing good deeds set an example for others to do the same. If you’ve been a recipient of a “pay it forward” kindness, you might be motivated to do the same for someone else. My “helping the birds good deed” inspired one person.

“I left the cash under the mat,” the irksome Facebook Market Place shopper texted me.

The now “not so irksome Facebook Market Place shopper” left the full asking price under my mat.

Under the doormat I found a fiver and three singles, my $8 asking price.

I returned his text with a thumbs up emoji followed by an exclamation point.

“I did it to help the birds,” he texted back.

I pocketed the eight bucks and headed to Farm and Fleet to buy sunflower seeds. 

Maybe I’d pay for the customer checking out behind me.

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