giving - generosity

It is well to give when asked,
but it is better to give unasked,
through understanding.

Khalil Gibran


In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.

Henry Ward Beecher

A generous action is its own reward.

William Walsh

Chances for heroic giving are rare, yet every day there are opportunities to give a part of yourself to someone who needs it.  It may be no more than a kind word or a letter written at the right time.  The important thing about any gift is the amount of yourself you put into it.

Arline Boucher and John Tehan
I as little fear that God will damn a person who has charity as I hope that the priests can save one who has not.

Alexander Pope

Each of us, as we journey through life, has the opportunity to find and to give his or her unique gift.  Whether this gift is quiet or small in the eyes of the world does not matter at all--not at all; it is through the finding and the giving that we may come to know the joy that lies at the center of both the dark times and the light.

Helen M. Luke
Sometimes you need to give people something that's for them, not just something that makes you feel good giving it.

Katherine Paterson


You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Khalil Gibran


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We must realize that we cannot give love unless we can receive love. . . .
In order to give of ourselves, we must nurture ourselves.

John Gray


We are possessed by the things we possess.  When I like an object,
I always give it to someone.  It isn't generosity--it's only because
I want others to be enslaved by objects, not me.

Jean Paul Sartre


Sharing what you have is more important than what you have.

Albert M. Wells, Jr.


You can never expect too much of yourself in the matter
of giving yourself to others.

Theodore C. Speers


There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving.

Henry Drummond


True religion. . . is giving and finding one's happiness
by bringing happiness into the lives of others.

William J.H. Boetcker


Give strength, give thought,
give deeds, give wealth;
Give love, give tears,
and give thyself.
Give, give, be always living.
Who gives not is not living;
The more you give,
the more you live.



Those that will not permit their wealth to do any good for others. . .
cut themselves off from the truest pleasure here and the highest happiness later.

Charles Caleb Colton


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giving - generosity   

The more we have given to ourselves, the more we have to
give to others.  When we find that place within ourselves that
is giving, we begin to create an outward flow.  Giving to others
comes not from a sense of sacrifice, self-righteousness, or
spirituality, but for the pure pleasure of it, because it's fun.
Giving can only come from a full, loving space.

Shakti Gawain


No people were ever honored for what they received.
Honor has been the reward for what they gave.

Calvin Coolidge


Most people think of success in terms of getting;
success, however, begins in terms of giving.

Henry Ford

Time and money spent in helping people to do more
for themselves is far better than mere giving.


When you cease to make a
contribution you begin to die.

It is not fair to ask of others what
you are not willing to do yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt



Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.



It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome.
Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time
disturb one's spiritual balance.  Therefore, children must early learn
the beauty of generosity.  They are taught to give what they prize most,
that they may taste the happiness of giving.

Ohiyesa, Santee Sioux



To receive a present handsomely and in a right spirit, even
when you have none to give in return, is to give one in return.

Leigh Hunt


God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.

Billy Graham


Giving is the highest expression of power.

Vivian Greene


Giving and receiving are opposite sides of the same coin.
Receiving entails trust in our own value and our having respect
for the giver.  By receiving we reinforce the giver and are ourselves
supported and affirmed by the gift.  In this way we participate in
life’s goodness and assist in its flourishing.  There are times in
our lives when the only way we can give back is to receive.

Sallirae Henderson

To give away money is an easy matter, and in any person's power.
But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, and
for what purpose, is neither in every person's power nor an easy
matter.  Hence it is, that such an excellence is rare,
praiseworthy and noble.



May every soul that touches mine—
Be it the slightest contact—
Get from there some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies
Beyond the gathering mists—
To make this life worthwhile,
And heaven a surer heritage.

George Eliot


Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.

Desiderius Erasmus


The hoarders, who are anxiously worried about losing something,
are, psychologically speaking, the poor impoverished people,
regardless of how much they have.  Whoever is capable
of giving of themselves is rich.

Erich Fromm

In the sphere of material things, giving means being rich.
Not those who have much are rich, but those who give much.



To receive more, we must give out
what we receive. . . . For it is by
giving that we set in operation the
unfailing law of measure for
measure.  With no thought of
receiving, it is impossible to avoid
receiving, for the abundance
you have given is returned
to you in fulfillment of the law.

Baird Spalding

If you would take, you must first give.

Lao Tzu


Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.

George Eliot

In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving.

Sheldon Kopp

Others are my main concern.  When I notice something of mine,
I steal it and give it to others.



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How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank


The more he cast away the more he had.

John Bunyan

What I gave, I have; what I spent, I had;
what I kept, I lost.

Old Epitaph

All strangers and beggars are from Zeus, and a gift, though small, is precious.


We'd all like a reputation for generosity, and we'd all like to buy it cheap.

Mignon McLaughlin

When I think of giving as an art. . . I pour more of myself into giving.  I tune in to
ways I can support others and give meaningful gifts that will delight the receiver.
Divine ideas come to mind as I shift my focus away from "things" to the art of true
giving.  As I write a letter to a friend with whom I've lost contact or give an
encouraging smile to a struggling stranger, I know that just what is needed is
mine to give.  I am inspired to give more as new creative expressions of giving
come to mind.  Knowing that the circle of giving is also receiving,
I am grateful for all that I give and all that I receive.

unattributed, The Daily Word

Take up giving-away as a hobby while you are young, and you will have
a happy life.  What is more, because you do so many thoughtful things on
impulse, you will develop a lively and interesting personality--
gracious, friendly, and likeable.

David Dunn


Gentle and giving--all the rest is treason.

Kenneth Patchen


Giving is the secret of a healthy life.  Not necessarily money,
but whatever a person has of encouragement
and sympathy and understanding.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

No matter how poorly our lives seem to be going, we can become
part of a greater flow of good and increase our awareness by doing
something more than we have to do--by giving of ourselves.  One of
the keys to prosperity is realizing that prosperity doesn't come by
getting more--it comes by giving more!  We can prosper by
emphasizing what we are giving rather than concentrating
on what we are getting.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul
of the giver. . . . When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can
presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know
will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another
will profit from that grantor's gift.  Our bounty, once decided upon,
should be without concern, overflowing one minute and forgotten
the next. . . . When we give cheerfully and accept
gratefully, everyone is blessed.

Maya Angelou
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

- generosity

We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order.  While
we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
"Five... coffees, please.  Two of them for us and three suspended."  They pay
for their order, take the two and leave.  I ask my friend:  “What are those
‘suspended’ coffees?”  My friend:  “Wait for it and you'll see.”  Some more
people enter.  Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go.  The next order
was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers--three for them and
four "suspended."  While I still wonder what’s the deal with those "suspended"
coffees, I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view of the square in
front of the café.  Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like
a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks "Do you have any
suspended coffee?"  It’s simple--people pay in advance for a coffee meant
for someone who can not afford a warm beverage.  The tradition with the
suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and
in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich
or a whole meal.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery
stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support?


The person who gives of him- or herself and his or her substance, no matter
how little, opens the door for life to pour in, not only compensating themselves
for their gifts, but increasing the gift.  The more one gives
the more that a person is able to receive.

Jack Addington


Your giving is sacred and therefore should be kept secret.
It is wise to give quietly with no strings attached.

Catherine Ponder



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.