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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Generosity

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  DECEMBER 1, 2021 --

It is very easy to give from on top of a white horse. It is more uncomfortable to dismount, to stand in the mud at eye-level with need, hunger, flagrant inequality, and let it pierce our hearts in a humble conversation between two children of God: without an agenda, without a presupposition that we know what the person before us really needs, but with an open heart and a listening ear.  -Br. Keith Nelson Society of Saint John the Evangelist


“It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving”

- Mother Teresa


The two above quotes expose one of my greatest weaknesses: I very often fail to listen attentively to and to empathize with those I’m trying to help  or to give to.  I too often give what I want to give, instead of what the  other  person  wants or needs. Not only should  one give generously, unselfishly, and without any expectation of return, but one should give in such a way that you increase another person’s happiness and well-being, and a better chance of improving their circumstances. And you can only do this if first you communicate with them and try to find out what their true wants and needs are.

Also, giving should not be confined to the transfer of material goods. There is much that we can give which costs us nothing yet greatly increases happiness,  both to the giver and the person who receives.  For  instance,  praise. One should increase the number of times you praise another person, whether for their accomplishments, no matter how small, for their appearance, or for anything else,

Then there is the gift of simply leaving someone alone if that is what they truly desire.

Or of asking them for help if that will make them  feel  more  useful or wanted. It increases their self- esteem and self-worth.

And last comes the most difficult giving of all, giving a person something  they  do  not  want  but really need, even though you also may not want to do so. It’s called “tough love”. Sometimes it is a simple thing, like seeing that your young child gets his or her necessary measles and typhoid vaccinations. Sometimes it is much more heart- wrenching, as when you intervene to fight a loved-one’s life-altering mental or physical addictions. But always this should be done with love and understanding.



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