While it is hard to argue that anyone is entirely altruistic, it is easy to recognize and celebrate those who are generous. Few things are uglier than acts of greed, or more beautiful than deeds that reveal genuine caring & sharing. Of course it is much easier to give when you have a lot of something to share, but generosity comes first from the heart. Our greatest spiritual leaders throughout history were not necessarily rich in a conventional sense, but they all distinguished themselves as role models of compassion and generosity. In other words, philanthropy is not simply for people with lots of money, but for anyone who recognizes their own personal abundance and chooses to share that bounty with those who are less fortunate.

One of my favorite passages about this subject is by the late Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran (who has the distinction of being the third best-selling poet of all time, behind only Shakespeare and Lao Tzu!). In “The Prophet” Gibran eloquently reminds us that when we die we will ultimately lose ALL the property that we possess anyway, so we should give “while the season of giving is ours and not our inheritors” in order to enjoy the reciprocal blessings of our generosity. Wise counsel indeed!

Today I am inspired to salute all people who mindfully transcend their fears of scarcity in favor of a generous nature:) May I always be counted among them as a man who shares whatever humble wealth he possesses too!

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