Saying For Today: We all have something to offer for others, some way to help, and when we are generous, we will act with generosity.
Sweet Alyssum - 'Royal Carpet' variety
The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose.
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A 10-year-old boy was standing barefoot in front of a shoe store. It was a cold winter's day. He kept looking through the window, shivering. A woman approached and asked what he was doing.
"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," said the boy.
The woman led him into the store. She asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs of socks for the boy, a basin of water, and a towel. He brought them to her. She took the boy to the back part of the store, knelt, washed his feet, and dried them.
By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair on the boy's feet, she bought him a pair of shoes and placed them on his feet. Tying up the remaining socks, she gave them to him.
The woman patted the boy on the head, asking, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"
She turned to go, and the astonished lad caught her hand. Looking at her, he asked, "Are you God's wife?"
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This little tale reminds us of the importance of generosity among ourselves, to Earth and its beings, between religions and races, among political groups, and each of us toward ourselves. Amid all the meanness we witness on this planet, giving of ourselves, not merely things, is vital for the healing and preservation of Earth and its beings - not simply humans.
And generosity manifests in two ways: generosity of spirit, generosity in action. One of the most important qualities we can offer our world is this generous heart and treatment of others. The two - spirit, action - are a unity. When one is altruistic in spirit, she will be altruistic in action.
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Giving things, such as charity, is only one aspect of generosity. We all have something to offer for others, some way to help, and when we are generous, we will act with generosity.
Once when driving home from my workplace, someone driving out of the community I lived in smiled at me. I do not know who it was. I do know the burden I felt pulling me downward was suddenly lifted by this one, simple act of kindness. One smile brought cheer into my cheerless day. Ten years later, I recall that smile with gratitude. That woman had no idea how troubled I was, how I was living through one of the darkest periods of my life. She did not know how that one act of kindness ministered grace to me.
Yes, generosity is that simple. We do not need to see it as being an overwhelming task. Generosity is as simple as the Sun showering Earth, for it is the Sun's nature to do so. To the Sun, giving light is not a task, a burden to be done. Showering us with light is naturally, freely what It does.
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Look at this planet, Earth... is it not beneficent? Does Earth, land and sky and sea, withhold from us? Does Earth act in discrimination, preferring a certain kind of people, person, or creature to bless from Its bounty?
We can learn from Earth about generosity. Do you agree? Let us learn from Nature's wisdom and be more like It in our relations with all beings.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on mystical traditions, predominantly Christian and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.