• No one has ever

    become poor by giving.

    -Anne Frank

  • It is more difficult to give money away

    intelligently than to earn it in the first place.

    -Andrew Carnegie

  • The habit of giving

    only enhances the desire to give.

    -Walt Whitman

  • Kindness is the

    practice of generosity.

    -Sharon Salzberg

  • Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap

    but by the seeds that you plant.

    -Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.

    He also accepteth from a grouch.

    -Catherine Hall

  • Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

    nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    -Dr. Seuss

  • The fragrance always remains

    in the hand that gives the rose.

    -Heda Bejar

  • Give all thou canst, high Heaven rejects the lore

    Of nicely-calculated less or more.

    -William Wordsworth

  • You have not lived until you have done something

    for someone who can never repay you.”

    -John Bunyan

  •  If you can’t feed a hundred people,

    then just feed one.

    -Mother Teresa

  • Noblesse oblige, or, superior advantages

    bind you to larger generosity.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • If you think you are too small to be effective,

    you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

    -Betty Reese

  • He who gives when asked

    has waited too long.


  • If you are feeling helpless,

    help someone.

    -Aung San Suu Kyi

  • We make a living by what we get;

    but we make a life by what we give.

    -Winston Churchill

  • The true measure of a man is how he treats

    someone who can do him absolutely no good.

    -Samuel Johnson

The desire to act generously often arrives in our lives by surprise, as an uninvited guest, a lightning bolt of inspiration.  In a mere moment a story, quotation, poem, passing remark or mere gesture  can be enough for generosity to move into our hearts and minds and become central to our lives. Inspiring Generosity is a rich offering of such moments.

I wrote my book for a broad general audience.  I hope readers will want to give this book as a token of gratitude to all the generous people in their lives. I hope it will make its way to desks, coffee tables, and bedside tables, as well as beach chairs, pulpits, and meditation cushions. I hope that philanthropists and leaders of our foundations and charitable arms of our businesses will display this book in their homes and offices, and turn to it to renew the spiritual engine of their work. Nonprofit boards and executives should have this book, and should give it to those who donate to the organizations they lead. Fundraisers should have this book on their desks, and make it a gift to the generous people who light up their work. Retreat centers will want to make this book available to their students, teachers, participants, and guests. Volunteers could be given this book as a token of appreciation for all they do—and perhaps many will have already bought it for themselves! Teachers, professors, religious leaders, poets, and philosophers will all find inspiration in these pages. I even dare hope that our elected officials, who could all do with a bit more generosity of spirit, may find this book a source of inspiration.

“The best thing I have read on the path of generosity.
Warning: this book might change your life.”

David Loy, author of The World is Made of Stories

“Read it and you will love it!”

Robert A. F. Thurman, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies,
Columbia University, and President, Tibet House USA

“Truth explodes from every page…”

Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life