Every good deeds Quotes
The gift-purchasing season is in full swing and we’re being bombarded with thousands of messages about deals and discounts for products whose purchase may threaten our solvency, cause undue stress and provide only fleeting satisfaction to the recipients.
It occurred to me while reflexively succumbing to the siege that it might be a good idea to pause and give more careful consideration to my gifting process and choices.
I decided that whether one’s gift is a material item, cold cash, an experience or supportive service, the motivation for giving it matters. And to figure out what that is, it’s worth taking a hard look at the emotions and goals that accompany the gift.
We should ask ourselves if our giving act is heartfelt, whether it stems from pressure inflicted by retailers or blindly accepted family traditions, or comes with an expectation that we'll get something in return.
(MORE: It’s Giving Tuesday, So Wise Up About Charities)
Possible underlying motivations include a desire to one-up others or appear more successful. Perhaps you’re seeking to “buy” love or support, compensate for personal feelings of inadequacy or make amends for something you failed to do or a slight you dished out. Maybe you’re operating along tit-for-tat lines and giving joylessly, out of a sense of obligation.
To help me sort through these complex issues, I went hunting for some wise, literate quotes. My 22 favorites are listed below. I hope they'll help shed light on your own reasons for giving and prompt you to think more deeply about the ways you express generosity.
1. “A fight is going on inside me, " said an old man to his son. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you."
The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf will win?"
The old man replied simply, "The one you feed.”
— Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
2. “That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
— Simone de Beauvoir
3. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
— John Bunyan
4. “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
— Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
5. “In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia