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On Giving by Kahlil Gibran

Monday, March 24, 2008

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

And he (the prophet) 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 tomorrow? 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 earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding. 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 inheritors'.

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.

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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 stream.

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 giving. 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.

4 comments:

Karla said...

I actually like the last paragraph especially. Although this project is about giving, learning to recieve gracefully is sometime most difficult. I think it's easier to give without expecting anything in return but to recieve without thinking about how much you'd like to reciprocate is tough. It sort of diminishes the spirit of the giving when you can't appreciate the moment with just plain old gratitude. Wait a minute..you guys did a gratitude project! I'll go back and re-read that!
I also liked the phrase, "while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness." Because it's as if you are witnessing the continuance of a chain of good feelings when you give. The domino effect of love. You give a moment of yourself to open a door for someone. They in turn are smiling when they see the next person in their day, maybe that person needed desperately to be given that smile..and on and on. What a gift to behold! We are witnesses! Watching that all unfold is raising our vibration...the yucky stuff in our day seems to disappear for a bit!

the gay bookworm said...

For some reason this project is not what I expected. Yes these are pretty thoughts and philosophies on giving, but for some reason this does not feel like what was discussed between Two Feathers and myself. I am not sure why. I certainly don't have a problem with giving unless it is giving to much. Which is why I am feeling so drained right now. THinking about what Karla said about it being hard to receive I am now wondering if maybe that is why I am having such a hard time manifesting my intentions, especially those that deal more with my personal stuff, is because I don't know how or have at the least difficulty in receiving things. I do always feel like if some one gives me something I have to re-pay them and in a greater amount than what was given me. I wonder why that is? Some people seem to have no problem in taking with both hands never looking back, never wondering if there is something they should give in return and then others can't reveive a dime without giving a dollar in return. Actually I am now sitting here thinking this is such a valuable insight that Karla has set off in me, that I am sure I must repay her in some way. LOL. So Karla I am sending you love and blessings. THank You.

Two Feathers said...

I find it interesting that in working out a 30 day project on "giving" the concept of "receiving" has come up more than once. It occurs to me that this must be significant!

I've been spending the last... let me see... 4 days with a critically ill (16 yr old) dog that I love more than anything. I have given her energy, love, and the benefit of all the healing techniques that I know. My family and friends have given as well. Thank you so much!

Through the power of Reiki, Love, prayer, Devas of Animal Healing, Ho'oponopono, energy work, faeries, affirmations, and much much more... my little dog has made a miraculous recovery! My (new) vet has decided that the original diagnosis (pancreatitis) must have been inacurate because not even young healthy dogs get better this quickly (and often not at all).

As soon as I get caught up on a few things this morning, I'll be posting something about giving and receiving... maybe they are not separate entities... maybe they are two sides of the same coin...

shirley said...

And here's another thought... trees... flowers... plants... animals... give from the bounty of their receiving.

Don't water a tomato during a drought and see how many tomatoes you receive!

Receiving is a prerequisite to giving. I had no idea...

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