Be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.
- Mark 4 (The Message)
The poor tend to know this. Out of spirit, we share, knowing that we usually get back when it is necessary and when we least expect it. And often a hundred-fold. It's a communal, involuntary insurance.
And it leaves us being gracious for what we have in terms of not just property, but family.
But sometimes we give out of our poverty and we're hurt for it.
A fellow, a neighbor, a stranger, a cousin, burns us. Steals from us when we house him. Lies to us about her kid's hunger or medical needs. Jimmy bums loose squares, always promising to pay back and never delivering. Some real nice lady does a business transaction with us but she runs into some problems and in an effort to speed up the process, we end up losing thousands of dollars that we don't have. Roy comes over for dinner every other day but then starts mocking the food and service.
It's easy to forget. To become stingy at this point. To take on the work and personality of the world around us.
Let's not. Let's not succumb to use the tools of the mean-spirited. He is in solidarity with no one; he cannot even trust himself. He dies alone and miserable, and lives alone and miserable.
Let us be continuously generous, for then we live as free men and women. Our wages may be restricted, our generosity even trampled on, but when we abandon our sisters and brothers in their time of need, when we refuse to share in the bounty of our meager harvest, we break the bonds of humanity, of friendship, of family, of our own very selves.
Share. It will be given back to us. A thousand-fold.