The Spirit of Giving
Why accumulate when there is so much joy in giving?
One facet of being rich is to be able to give gifts. No matter how much we store up material possessions, if we are unable to give, we are poor.
This is the traditional season of giving. But what are the gifts that do not require a hoarding of possessions, that do not require the exploitation of others?
Here is this author’s thoughtful answer:
The answer is things that cost little but are pleasing to both giver and receiver: A poem or a piece of music that we feel will bring pleasure; a shared meal, or a recipe; knowledge of a lovely spring, or a way to make shoes that are simple, beautiful, and comfortable; a gift of time, for helping plant an apple tree, dig a foundation, or care for a child.
The finest gifts depend on thoughtfulness, sensitivity, knowledge, and caring–not on the material wealth of the giver. Is there a finer gift than receiving a lovely person as a neighbor or friend?
What are your treasures? What are your jewels? What are the sources of your creative wealth? Contemplation of these questions is important to individuals and to society. Searching for your treasures and bringing them into the parlor of your mind can give great pleasure while helping to rid the world of a violent, destructive concept of wealth. With understanding, violent wealth can be made to disappear as a valid concept.
Adapted from A Handmade Life, by William S. Coperthwaite (Chelsea Green, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by William S. Coperthwaite. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green.
Adapted from A Handmade Life, by William S. Coperthwaite (Chelsea Green, 2002).