A great man once said, “You make a living
by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” In fact, there is a
Sanskrit proverb that says, “He who allows his day to pass by without
practicing generosity and enjoying life’s pleasure is like a
blacksmith’s bellows – he breathes but does not live.”
Giving opens the way for receiving. It is said that the 3things we
crave most in life- happiness, freedom and peace of mind – are always
attained by giving them to someone else.
“He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much,” taught Lao-Tzu,
Chinese philosopher and Father of Taoism.
Christianity teaches the same virtue. “One man gives freely, yet grows
all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers
want.” (The Bible, Proverbs 11-24)
One teaching says, “Generosity is the virtue that produces peace”.
“Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given,”
says motivational speaker and author Deepak Chopra.
Life is an echo, what we send always comes back. Hence goes the saying,
“It is in giving that we receive”. In the long run, we get no more than
we have been willing to risk giving.
Giving opens the way for receiving. As mystical philosopher Anthony
Norvell said, “Plant a kernel of wheat and you reap a pint; plant a
pint and you reap a bushel. Always the law works to give you back more
than you give”.
“Sow much, reap much; sow little, reap little”, goes an ancient Chinese
Giving also liberates the soul of the giver. Giving frees us from the
familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the
unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.
More importantly, giving reflects the kind of person we are. “He who
cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either,” said German
philosopher Friedrich W. Nietzsche.
Generosity expands our circle of self-identity, to make a connection
with others around us. Generosity says, “We are all connected. If we
share what we have, we will all be wealthier.”
Think of stored grain. If we store grain in a godown, eventually it
will rot. But plant the grain in the ground, and it will multiply. Like
love (which increases with exchange), generosity is something only if
we give it away.