Giving Gone Wrong – Generosity Going Right

It is a question we all need to ask of ourselves. That’s to reflect on our giving, be it materially, emotionally and in all the gross and subtle ways giving manifests. We have a saying in Buddhism which goes As long as bowing lasts Buddhism will last. At the heart of bowing is gratitude. For the woman who speaks in the article her giving pipe had a major kink in it.

Perhaps for all of us the life lessons which are so very painful are around giving. We extend a loving hand and it is rejected, turned away from, giving goes bad over time. Love is saddened.

Years ago, in India, a monk warned me, “Never give anyone more than they are emotionally capable of receiving, or they will have no choice but to hate you for it.”

At the time, the advice sounded cynical, even cruel. It certainly flew in the face of Christianity’s highest charitable ideals, as famously expressed by Mother Teresa: “Give until it hurts.”

But these days, I’ve come to believe that when you give heedlessly or with an agenda, you actually can give until it hurts, and that the person who is most gravely injured in the exchange is the other guy.

Confessions Of An Over-Giver CNN News

Giving is coupled with receiving. Giving and receiving are one movement. Beautiful, and indeed fulfilling, when giver and receiver know deeply the one movement – of the generous heart. What’s in ones hand, so to speak, is simply an outward expression and not insignificant for that.

Thanks to Julius for the link. As always much appreciated. It is a touching story – and so human.

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7 thoughts on “Giving Gone Wrong – Generosity Going Right”

  1. A kind word, spoken when needed is worth more than money can buy. That article about an “over-giver” made the point very well.


  2. Just a thought about this article. I have engaged in giving sometimes to avoid the pain I feel when I encounter others in need. There is a lot of self involved in my giving!

  3. you could think in a different way… That you give in response to the pain that you encounter in others. A response of both charity and sympathy/empathy?

  4. that sometimes it is a gift to others when we are willing to accept help–that is, we give them the opportunity to make an offering that we can graciously accept. Thanks for this is quite helpful!

  5. I just read your link – ‘confessions of an over-giver’. What an interesting view! I’m sure that underneath the ‘lack of money’ reason for not being able to do things lie all sorts of other reasons, as she indicates.R eally interesting angle on money, which is a subject I am always trying to understand more fully.

  6. Yes Jeannine, for some people giving is the easy thing and receiving, be that help or gifts, is next to impossible emotionally and practically. Receiving graciously is a gift in itself…Glad you find the topic helpful. I keep on ‘popping’ with new thoughts on the matter. But with Jukai week happening there is little free time and space write.

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