Saturday, December 8, 2007

Khalil Gibran on "Giving"

I wrestle with the idea of giving. Why should I give? Should I give? What does my giving and someone else receiving do to each of us?

I have been given a lot. I"m striving to give a lot.
Some moments of being given have left me feeling used. I'm working to not have our students feel like that.

Can you give in a way that respects the humanity and dignity of the recipients? Does giving necessarily need to create a hierarchy with the giver on top and the recipient humbled and bent in suplication?

What is a good reason to give? Because it makes you feel good?

I really like the passage on giving from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet:

"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
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying
bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full the 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 diesire make 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 baptisim.

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

Through the hands of these God speaks., and from behind their eyes he
smiles upon the earth.


Wangari said...

Hey, I have just stumbled upon your site thro another one. I am a kenyan in the diaspora as a graduate student in uni and v excited by what you are doing! like minds..barikiwa mpaka ushangae..will drop in more

Anonymous said...

take it from someone half a world away. you are truly an inspiration