Speak to Us of Giving

I just wanted to share a small excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  A wonderful little book, if you haven’t read it.  

The books is set up as a series of questions and answers from the towns people to the prophet before he leaves their city.  This excerpt is from page 24 of the book.

I’ve come to realize that fear of need or lack is one of my biggest areas of resistance — like a lot of people, I’m sure.  This passage really resonated with me.

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

And he 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 to-morrow?

And to-morrow, what shall to-morrow bring to the over-prudent 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, 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 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.


2 thoughts on “Speak to Us of Giving”

  1. That is very beautiful, I haven’t really thought about the fear of need, so that’s interesting, something to reflect on. Fear of lack, not having or doing or being enough is a prevalent issue. It is also true in my experience that those who don’t have much material wealth often are more generous. They are not as attached. In my experience anyway.

    1. I think need is like a hole in us. And each of our holes actually form one big hole.
      And maybe when some people who don’t have much themselves share what little they have with others, it’s an attempt to fill in the hole. Maybe they recognize on a deeper level that it’s one hole. They may not have the means to fill in their own section, but they can help fill in someone else’s and get satisfaction from that.
      I think it’s the same with people who have so much and give so much of their time and money trying to help others fill in their holes.
      It’s us against the hole! 🙂

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