Giving is a
miracle that can transform the heaviest of hearts. Two people,
who moments before lived in separate worlds of private concerns,
suddenly meet each other over a simple act of sharing. The
world expands, a moment of goodness is created, and something new
comes into being where before there was nothing.
To often we
are blind to this everyday miracle. We build our lives around
accumulation--of money, of possessions, of status--as a way of
protecting ourselves and our families from the vagaries of the
world. Without thinking, we begin to see giving as an economic
exchange--a subtracting of something from who and what we are--and
we weigh it on the scales of self-interest.
giving is not an economic exchange, it is a generative act. It
does not subtract from what we have; it multiplies the effect we can
have in the world.
tend to think of giving only in terms of grand gestures. They
miss the simple openings of the heart that can be practiced anywhere
with almost anyone.
We can say
hello to someone everybody ignores. We can offer to help a
neighbor. We can buy a bouquet of flowers and take it to a
nursing home, or spend an extra minute talking to someone who needs
We can take
ten dollars out of our pocket and give it to someone on the
street. No praise, no hushed tones of holy generosity.
Just give, smile, and walk away.