On Giving

Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving."

And he answered:

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you
may need them

And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying
bones in the trackless
sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

And what is fear of need but need itself?

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which 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.

These are the 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.

Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He
smiles upon the

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

And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater
than giving

And is there aught you would withhold?

All you have shall some day be given;

Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your

You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all
else from you.

And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill
his cup from your little

And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage
and the confidence, nay the
charity, of receiving?

And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride,
that you may see their
worth naked and their pride unabashed?

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of

For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself
a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of
gratitude, lest you lay a yoke
upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;

For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the
free-hearted earth for
mother, and God for father.