The Spirit of Giving

Why accumulate when there is so much joy in giving?
–Shaker expression

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).


Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago


a             y m.
g d c5 years ago

yes, virginia, there is a santa claus, and he lives in your heart...

carlee trent
carlee trent6 years ago

i love giving it's a must for me.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago


Karen W.
Karen W6 years ago

I make cards instead of buying them, when I give them to people their whole being, not just their face lights up. That is what they give me back, and I am very cheered and grateful for it, it is so worthwhile so know that I have made someones day with my homemade gift from my heart

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago

I hate giving. That's so commercial.

jeanette steffi g.

True happiness is found in the joy, care and love that one gives the other. It is not found in materialistic things that do not last forever.

They say the surest way of helping yourself, is by helping others. When one gives something that will help the other, it is not just the one who recieved who becomes happy bu the giver, too, who gained the happiness from giving something that will help the other.

Jennifer S.
Jennifer S10 years ago

In the back yard of our place we have native birds thatbcome to bath in the Bird bath, I love watching them bath, and also listening to them singing too. I do have some wild bird seed for the small birds but as yet haven't decided where to place them. They don't like to come to close to the house. And I love listening to the Magpie's song for some reason.

Jackie H.
Past Member 10 years ago

Thank you Tina, for bringing this to my attention, everyone seems to think that gifts mean something bought.....My gifts to people are from the heart.crafts, deeds, just plain old fashion helping. Bless you....Jackie

Tina Mixon
Tina Mixon10 years ago

Gifts of the heart are always so touching!There have been times in my 46 years of life that things that were just around me meant the most.....My gifts are my ability to make people laugh,art is very important to me as drawing with the tools God has created in nature to look @I'm truly blessed to have met others who are musically inclined and can be inspired by the sounds of nature,trickling water sometimes is hard to find in this vast world if you don't make yourself available to it...That's it,just water in itself is so healing and important to all facets of life....