Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Still interogating the concept of giving

The Interns (Allison, Maria, Briana) and I have been interrogating the concept of giving and how Akili Dada should mediate the relationship between our well intentioned donors in the States, and our scholars in Kenya. We're looking over this passage from one of my favorite texts, The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran:

It is well to give when asked, bu tit 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 someday be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not
your inheritors'.

You of ten 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.

Surely he who is worthy to revive 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 unabashed?

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, 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 over mindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has
the free-hearted earth for a mother and God for father."