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If Only Generosity Grew on Trees

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August 25, 2011 by Annie McCormick

“The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.” Atisha

With all the mess going on in Congress and the world I have been thinking a lot about generosity. It seems to me that the people/corporations (did you know that the Supreme Court of the U.S. considers corporations ‘people’?) who have all the money simply don’t want to share. One of the first things a child learns is to share. Then it was crayons, but the concept is still the same. If you have extra,share with someone who doesn’t.

I could write about greed and what it does to us, but I want to be positive. Greed unsettles me and generosity makes me feel good.

I love living in a place where giving and generosity are commonplace. Through our networks we find out who needs help and we pitch in. Some of us know firsthand what it feels like to need and are grateful when someone holds out their hand. In the relatively short time I’ve lived here I have heard countless stories of people who have lost jobs, loved ones, health or homes. When something like this happens the flyers go up at the local stores; sometimes with a collection jar. Fundraisers are held, supported by individual donations. The government is not there for most of us.

“A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.“ Mohammed

All religions speak of generosity, giving and charity. Most churches in this area have some sort of program for needy folks. Winslow Community Meals, my favorite place to volunteer, though not a religious organization, has a “necessities pantry.” They offer free household items such as toilet paper, diapers (both adult and infant), kitchen wraps, hygiene products, cleaners and whatever they pick up at the United Way warehouse in Bentonville. Like other places who offer free goods to the community, we have the expense of driving to Bentonville and also pay a yearly membership fee and a small charge for every visit. Our volunteers go a couple of times a month. Even the NWA Food Bank charges a small amount for their food, and there is the gas expense. Meals pays for this through meal sales and donations. So, your charity donates their time and money in order to have the privilege to give. True, selfless giving is a great gift.

I never will understand why people hoard money and property. I hear of celebrities having multiple mansions all over the world. Why? Nobody can be in two places at one time. I saw someone on TV who spent $16,000 on a purse. Again, why? That amount of money could feed a lot of people and fix a lot of roofs. I think the thing that upsets me most is that poorer children don’t have the chance for education that moneyed children do. I just don’t get the mindset.

A friend of mine once said that she never saw a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. Exactly! In a perfect world people would live by this motto:

“Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.” Thornton Wilder

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