To Give or Not to Give, That is the Question

Today my son was awarded a music scholarship for the university he'll attend this fall.  It's not a large amount, and probably won't even cover the cost of textbooks for the year, but the fact that someone would contribute money to the scholarship program is a beautiful thing in my eyes.

The university provided the donor's name and address and instructed my son to send him a thank you note, so now, instead of it being an anonymous donation, he knows the identity of this generous man.  My son will meet the donor at a fall banquet where he can thank him personally.

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Giving is a concept I contemplate a lot (I really do).  Some people seem to have an enormous capacity for giving and I've noticed that it is not directly tied to the resources of the giver.

Some of the busiest people I know are the most generous with their time.  My friends Maria at Delight Directed Living and Heidi at Heidi'sbooks are exemplary women who are genuinely willing to share their time although they are extremely busy.

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On the flip side, I know people with large blocks of free time who aren't willing to give some of those blocks away.  Or are only willing to share on their own terms.  I'm acquainted with a retired woman who is still young and healthy ... and bored.  We've talked about volunteer opportunities several times, but she always has a reason why this organization isn't compatible with her needs or that group doesn't do things the way she believes they should be accomplished.  The organizations still need help and she's still bored.

People's willingness to share their resources is another area where I see disparate behavior.  Some of the more financially strapped people I know are always willing to contribute money when they hear of a need.  Our family has learned this first hand from times we've gone on mission trips and have needed to raise financial support.  People we know who have an abundance have not given and those who we know struggle financially give generously.

My conclusions?

  • There are people with open hearts who are willing to give without counting the cost to themselves.  These are my favorite people (my husband is one of them).  
  • There are people who don't give whether it's due to inertia, insecurity, laziness, greed or something else.  They are not my favorite people (I am way too often one of them).
Do you think you're generous or do you need to work on this like me?


  1. Generosity is an interesting topic. When I look at my own life, I don't see myself as particularly generous I suppose because I know what I could do, and that doesn't always match up with what I want to do.

    I know that I am more willing to give money than to give time. I need to work on being more generous in both areas.

    1. I also need work in both of these areas.

  2. I go back and forth on this too. My heart is big and I'd love to give more, but practicality steps in. I, too, know people who have litte, but give much. Sadly, I know more people who have much and give little...or none. I wrote a similar post just yesterday about helping the needy. I'd like your thoughts, if you have time.
    Great post.

    1. I'll hop on over right now because I'm eager to hear what you have to say.