Generosity - The Endless Joy of Giving

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 proverb.

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.


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