In many ways this series that we have been studying, Practicing Generosity, is a complete repudiation of nearly everything modern society holds dear.
“He who dies with the most toys wins.” Nope, we are supposed to not just share from our excess but redistribute so everyone has enough.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:
“Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22: 37-39
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson
“They treat us like mushrooms here. They keep us in the dark and feed us [manure].” Air America
Sadly this observation is all too accurate in all too many circumstances. Sharing knowledge not only levels the playing field, it makes the playing field better and much more interesting.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3: 13
“The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other persons.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Knowledge increases by sharing but not by saving.”
“Might makes right.”
Nope, we are supposed to share power with others, to learn from and with them and in so doing make better decisions.
“You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18: 22
“The scarcest resource is not oil, metals, clean air, capital, labor, or technology. It is our willingness to listen to each other and learn from each other and to seek the truth rather than seek to be right.” Donella Meadows
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” Cesar Chavez
“Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Practicing generosity, sharing resources, knowledge and power are ways we show love to one another and our love for God. These are not necessarily simple things, nor are they necessarily easy things but they are what we are called to do and are things we should want to do which should then make them both simpler and easier.
Director of Children and Young Families