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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Generosity and Joy

I want to share some thoughts from the Book of Joy before I return it to our spiritual library. I like the idea that our joy is enhanced when we make someone else happy. Archbishop Tutti reminds us that "it is in giving that we receive...It is when we grow in a self-forgetfulness--in a remarkable way I mean we discover that we are filled with joy."

"When we practice a generosity of spirit, we are in many ways practicing all the other pillars of joy. In generosity, there is a wider perspective in which we see our connections to all the others. There is a humility that recognizes our place in the world and acknowledges that at another time we could be the one in need, whether that need is material, emotional, or spiritual. There is a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at ourselves so that we do not take ourselves too seriously. There is an acceptance of life, in which we do not force life to be other than what it is. There is a forgiveness of others and a release of what might otherwise have been. There is a gratitude for all that we have been given. Finally, we see others with a deep compassion and a desire to help those who are in need. And from this comes a generosity that is 'wise selfish,' a generosity that recognizes helping others as helping ourselves. As the Dalai Lama put it, 'In fact, taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life.'"
(The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, p.275)

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