If you are feeling helpless,
-Aung San Suu Kyi
No one has ever
become poor by giving.
We make a living by what we get;
but we make a life by what we give.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Kindness is the
practice of generosity.
The habit of giving
only enhances the desire to give.
If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
The true measure of a man is how he treats
someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
If you can’t feed a hundred people,
then just feed one.
It is more difficult to give money away
intelligently than to earn it in the first place.
The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.
He also accepteth from a grouch.
You have not lived until you have done something
for someone who can never repay you.”
Noblesse oblige, or, superior advantages
bind you to larger generosity.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Give all thou canst, high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more.
The fragrance always remains
in the hand that gives the rose.
He who gives when asked
has waited too long.
“We are moved by your generosity. Your book serves as a reminder of the kindness of the American people.”
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
“Inspiring Generosity is a beautiful book. Like you, I am amazed every day by the stories of people around the world who give of themselves to help others.”
President Bill Clinton
“… a thoughtful presentation.”
“Generosity is the first of the Buddhist transcendent virtues, and this lovely little book is a great act of generosity on Barbara Bonner’s part! It gives you the gift of understanding bit by bit how generosity is most beneficial to the giver – opening your hand opens your heart and your life in new and unexpected ways! Read it and you will love it!”
Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies, Columbia University; President, Tibet House US
“There is nothing more compelling than a story of generosity, the truest kind of love story there is. How fitting that Barbara Bonner’s Inspiring Generosity embodies the very quality it praises, with eloquent accounts of transformative kindness and wisdom through generosity.”
Sharon Salzberg, Author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Barbara has given us a wonderful set of stories and poems that reinforce the connection between generous action and compassion. We have much to learn from these examples and heart connected stanzas.”
Jeffrey C. Walker, Retired Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase; Chairman, MDG Health Alliance, Author of The Generosity Network
“In poetry and prose Barbara has set a table of generosity for everyone to share. This is a lovely, reflective and helpful anthology. Be generous – give it to your family and friends”.
Edward Skloot, Director, The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, Duke University
“These stories, poems, and quotes from great authors communicate with great profundity the depth dimension of generosity, its power to inspire joy and loving community. A deep understanding of generosity radiates throughout this book—generosity is a practice and a ‘muscle’ that each of us must develop. Generosity is bold, risky; it evokes the joy of selfless living.”
Dale S.Wright, Distinguished Professor of Religion, Occidental College
“Why do we so easily—and so persistently—forget about the miracle of generosity? Every single one of us knows about this miracle. We have tasted it. We have stepped—at least once in our lives—into its exhilaration. But we forget. Or at least I do. Barbara Bonner’s remarkable book reminds me of the ways in which generosity connects me so immediately to the very heart of the world. Her powerful stories peel away the saccharine frosting that ordinarily covers the topic of generosity, and reveals the guts, the ardency, the power of the truly generous act. Truth explodes from every page—a truth I want to, need to, must remember. I want a copy of this book on my desk. I want a copy of it next to my bed. I want to live submerged in this very best way of being human.”
Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling
“This beautiful, inspiring book draws you into the heart of generosity. Giving is the home base of human relationships, and Barbara Bonner helps us come home to the natural impulse deep in every person to make the world a better place. A deeply moving, encouraging, wise, and loving book.”
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
“The best thing I have read on the path of generosity. Warning: this book might change your life!”
David Loy, Author
“This lovely book deftly captures first your mind and then your heart and leads you along a beautiful path illuminated at each step by compelling stories of generosity. Barbara Bonner’s touch is so light as to be like a veil that is slowly lifted. This book is such a gift to all of us in the field of philanthropy and beyond.”
MaryJane Kubler, Philanthropic Advisor