giving 2 - generosity

One must be poor to know
the luxury of giving.

George Eliot


Do not inflict your will.  Just give love.  The soul will take that love and put it where it can best be used.


I expect to pass through this world but once.  Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to a fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Stephen Grellet
(also attributed to William Penn)

We all should give what we have decided in our hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7
The essential difference between the unhappy, neurotic type person and the happy, normal person is the difference between get and give.  The unhappy person is concerned with:  the world is against me, what's in it for me, what are people doing to me, and so forth.  When your central theme in life is getting, you usually do get headaches.  But the happy person is looking toward what he or she can do, what they can give, what they can accomplish.

Joe D. Batten and Leonard C. Hudson
Cheerful givers do not count the cost of what they give.  Their hearts are set on pleasing and cheering the person to whom the gift is given.

Julian of Norwich

We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill


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Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more--a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.

George Herbert


But what parent can tell when some . . . fragmentary gift of knowledge or
wisdom will enrich her children's lives?  Or how a small seed of information
passed from one generation to another may generate a new science,
a new industry--a seed which neither the giver nor the receiver
can truly evaluate at the time.

Helena Rubinstein


Of all the dear sights in the world, nothing
is so beautiful as children when they are
giving something.  Any small thing they give.
Children give the world to you.  They open
the world to you as if it were a book you'd
never been able to read.  But when a gift
must be found, it is always some absurd
little thing, passed on crooked. . . an angel
looking like a clown.  Children have so
little that they can give, because they
never know they have given you everything.

Margaret Lee Runbeck


The Golden Ladder of Giving
1. To give reluctantly, the gift of the hand, but not of the heart.
2. To give cheerfully, but not in proportion to need.
3. To give cheerfully and proportionately, but not until solicited.
4. To give cheerfully, proportionately, and unsolicited, but to put the gift
    into the poor person's hand, thus creating shame.
5. To give in such a way that the distressed may know their benefactor,
    without being known to him or her.
6. To know the objects of our bounty, but remain unknown to them.
7. To give so that the benefactor may not know those whom he has relieved,
    and they shall not know him.
8. To prevent poverty by teaching a trade, setting a person up in business,
    or in some other way preventing the need of charity.



I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.

Martin Luther



One has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of
human life when one plants shade trees under which one
knows full well one will never sit.

Elton Trueblood

  giving 2 - generosity    

Not what we give, but what we share,--
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,--
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.

James Russell Lowell


As Coleridge said, "We receive but what we give."  The happy life is a life
of continual generosity in which we go out to meet and acclaim the world.

Gerald Brenan


If all my pain and all my tears,
And all that I have learned throughout the years
Could make one perfect song
To lift some fallen head
To light some darkened mind,
I should feel that not in vain
I served mankind.

Marguerite Few

Love grows through giving.  Fear makes us afraid to give.  What are
you able to give to others or to your community?  What have you
been able to give in the past 24 hours?  To whom did you give it?

Jennifer James


There are those who give little of the much they have--and they give it
   for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
There are those believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving,
    nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks,
    and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

Khalil Gibran


Give what you have. To someone else
it may be better than you dare to think.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Behold!  I do not give lectures on a little charity.
When I give, I give myself.

Walt Whitman


Simply give others a bit of yourself; a thoughtful act, a helpful
idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense
of understanding, a timely suggestion.  You take something
out of your mind, garnished in kindness out of your heart,
and put it into the other person's mind and heart.

Charles H. Burr



To give and then not feel that one has given
is the very best of all ways of giving.

Max Beerbohm


Sometimes it seems to me that in this absurdly random life
there is some inherent justice in the outcome of personal relationships.
In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to give.

Sheldon Kopp


They serve best who give most of themselves.  Self is forgotten
by the one who serves, for such a one rejoices to see
success coming to others through his or her efforts.

James Cash Penney


Receiving and giving are opposite energies that are inextricably linked together
in the natural flow of life, like inhaling and exhaling.  If one aspect of that cycle
doesn't function, the entire cycle ceases to function and the life force cannot
move freely.  If you can't inhale, you will soon have nothing to exhale,
and before long, your body will be unable to continue living.

Shakti Gawain


The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.

Peter Marshall


Fill yourselves first and then only will you be able to give to others.

Augustine of Hippo


You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Amy Carmichael

A handful of pine-seed will cover mountains with the green majesty
of forest.  I too will set my face to the wind and
throw my handful of seed on high.

Fiona MacLeod


The kindness of the woman with food came back to him, and
that of Martina.  They had offered him comfort and shelter, even
when he was afraid of taking them, and in accepting he had learned
something new.  It was as much of a gift to receive as it was to give,
requiring as it did both courage and humility.

Rachel Joyce
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry


No person has ever been honored for what he or she received.
Honor is our reward when we give.

Calvin Coolidge


What are we going to get out of life?  This can understandably be
a question of fundamental importance to us.  We begin with certain
basic needs and desires.  It is important to have a comfortable
home, plenty of food, a meaningful and well-paying job, comfort,
companionship, and joy.  However, many of us have not fully
realized a simple, basic principle:  for our receiving to take place,
we must first give.  Giving and receiving are two
aspects of the same law of life.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

Years ago I was practicing meditation in India.  Anybody who spends any time at all in India must come to terms with the countless number of people begging.  It is just part of the reality there, and one is in relationship to it one way or another.  I was in the bazaar one day buying some fruit.  There were a lot of beggars around, and one little boy was holding out his hand.  He looked hungry, so I took one of the oranges I had bought and gave it to him.  It felt good to respond to him.  But he just took the orange and walked away.  Not a smile, not a nod, not a thank-you, nothing.  Only when he did that, only in the absence of a response, did I see clearly that some part of my mind, some part of my generosity, some part of my motive had wanted an acknowledgement.  I had not been expecting effusive thanks for the orange, but I had wanted something.  And this child just took the orange and walked away.

Joseph Goldstein
Transforming the Mind, Healing the World


Those who think they have nothing to give should remember that
they can always give themselves, and that they can always render
some kind of service even if it be nothing more than a few words of cheer.

Lowell Fillmore


Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections;
some literally give their blood. . . but everyone has something to give.

Barbara Bush


It is necessary to give freely if we are to receive freely.  The law of
receiving includes giving.  The knowledge that substance is
omnipresent and that people cannot, therefore, impoverish themselves
by giving (but rather will increase their supply) will enable us to give
freely and cheerfully.

Charles Fillmore
The Revealing Word

Do not be selfish, at least with the things that you can spare.  Do not
hoard them, thinking that you may want them later.  You can make an
infinitely greater investment, in your own character, in satisfaction and
happiness, by giving them away than by keeping them, in anticipation
of some future contingency that will never arise.  You may not be as
magnanimous as you ought to be.  Giving will soften your heart and
open a little wider the door of your generosity.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living 

Do not wait for acts of love, generosity, or kindness to be returned to you.
If you sit around expecting favors to come back, you miss the point of giving.
The act of giving blesses you with the experience of prosperity at the moment
you give.  What comes later, or does not come, is not worth thinking or
worrying about.  There are greater gifts to be counted.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy 


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giving 2 - generosity

We cannot give what we do not have.  We cannot bring peace to the
world if we ourselves are not peaceful.  We cannot bring love to the world
if we ourselves are not loving.  Our true gift to ourselves and others lies not
in what we have but in who we are.

Marianne Williamson

Blessed are those who can give without remembering
and take without forgetting.

Elizabeth Bibesco


The parable of the talents is a good analogy of what happens
when we give.  When we merely try to hold on to what is given
or entrusted to us, life may seem to take away even that.  But
when we choose to use what life has given us, the return of
abundance can include friendship, companionship, financial
blessings, homes, transportation, and security in wonderful
ways.  The universe holds nothing back from the one
who lovingly and sincerely gives.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


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Why you were born and why you are living depend entirely on what you
are getting out of this world and what you are giving to it.  I cannot prove
that this is a balance of mathematical perfection, but my own observation
of life leads me to the conclusion that there is a very real friendship, both
quantitatively and qualitatively, between what you contribute
and what you get out of life.

Oscar Hammerstein II

Under the law of compensation there is no such thing as getting something for
nothing.  We must give full measure for all that we receive at some time.  Every
day is a day of judgment in which the balance between giving and receiving is
struck.  Every instant of time, the state of mind, body, and circumstance
shows just where we stand, just how well or how poorly we
have observed the spirit of the law.

Georgiana Tree West
Prosperity's Ten Commandments


One always receiving, never giving, is like a stagnant pool, in which
whatever flows remains, whatever remains corrupts.

John A. James


You must give if you want to receive.  Let the center of your being be
one of giving, giving, giving.  You can't give too much,
and you will discover you cannot give without receiving.

Peace Pilgrim

The real test of a person is not:  How much has he or she got?
The measure of a person is:  How much does he or she
give that he or she can afford to give?

Fred Van Amburgh


The soul lives forever by giving, not receiving.  This is the grand paradox.
You get most by giving most.  Conversely, by receiving much you impoverish
yourself.  By selfish accumulation you become bankrupt.

Julian P. Johnson


The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.

Pierre Corneille

Creative Giving
Wilferd A. Peterson

These words from Albert Schweitzer changed my life, and they may change yours:  "You are happy.  Therefore you are called to give up much.  Whatever you have received more than others in health, in talents, in ability, in a pleasant childhood, in harmonious conditions of home life, all this you must not take to yourself as a matter of course.  You must pay for it.  You must render in return an unusually great sacrifice of your life for other lives."

Clara McBride Hale, or "Mother Hale" as she is called, loves children and when she began finding abused, abandoned, and even infants infected with the AIDS virus, she took them in and loved them as her own.

In 1969, Mother Hale opened Hale House, a shelter for children and a lifesaving environment for young drug-addicted mothers.  In recognition of her contribution, President Ronald Reagan named Mother Hale an American Hero in 1985.

An attitude of creative giving can become the greatest creative force in the world.  When we consider all that others have done for us since the world began, we become stimulated and inspired to do something for the world.  In a deep sense we owe the world a creative spirit.  There are millions of ways, great and small, that creative energy may be put to work.

Success in life is too often measured by what a person acquires.  More meaningful is what a person contributes.

And this goes beyond the contribution of money to the contribution of ideas, plans, methods, ideals, visions, projects.  Behind all material progress is mental and spiritual progress.  The creative thinkers start the ball rolling.  They visualize programs and goals.  They dream dreams.  They help people to grow.

And in a personal way they enrich themselves in something more than dollars.  They contribute love, hope, courage, faith, peace, and joy to others.  Such a spirit of contribution has broad and long-lasting influence; a depth of true success is experienced that can be attained in no other way.

Go-givers are far more effective than go-getters, and when you give ideas, you give the most precious gifts life has to offer, for everything begins with an idea!



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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