Think of giving not as a duty
but as a privilege.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.


Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.

Horace Mann


What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one.

François de la Rochefoucauld

We'd all like a reputation for generosity, and we'd all like to buy it cheap.

Mignon McLaughlin

All my experience of the world teaches me that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the safe side and the just side of a question is the generous side and the merciful side.

Anna Brownell Jameson

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.

Frank A. Clark


Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.

Albert Camus


To know when to be generous and when to be firm -- this is wisdom.

Elbert Hubbard



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


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Don't say that you want to give, but go ahead and give!
You'll never catch up with a mere hope.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Many people have been capable of doing a wise thing,
more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.

Alexander Pope


You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes
only if you generously consent to share them.

William Blake


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To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude,
when it is not in our power to repay it.

Benjamin Franklin

Generosity consists not of the sum given, but of the manner
in which it is bestowed.



Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.

Albert Camus


Our generosity never should exceed our abilities.



There is a greatness in being generous, and there is only simple
justice in satisfying creditors.  Generosity is the part
of the soul raised above the vulgar.

Oliver Goldsmith


Generosity is the flower of justice.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Generosity, when once set going, knows not how to stop; as the more
familiar we are with the lovely form, the more enamored we become of her charms.

Pliny the Younger


The person who gives what he or she would as readily throw away gives
without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice.

Henry Taylor



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Give yourself entirely to those around you.  Be generous with your
blessings.  A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.

Steve Maraboli

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes
which nourish false charity.  False charity constrains the fearful and
subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands.  True
generosity lies in striving so that these hands--whether of individuals
or entire peoples--need be extended less and less in supplication,
so that more and more they become human hands which work
and, working, transform the world.

Paulo Freire
Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Practice giving things away, not just things you don't care about, but things
you do like.  Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the
amount of mental attachment you overcome that count.  So don't bankrupt
yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later.  Give thought
to giving.  Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes
going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked.

Robert A.F. Thurman



Children must learn early the beauty of generosity.  They are taught to
give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.

Charles Alexander Eastman


Generosity is not in giving me that which I need more than you do,
but it is in giving me that which you need more than I do.

Khalil Gibran


The generous person is always just, and the just who is always
generous may, unannounced, approach the throne of heaven.

John K. Lavater

Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.

Jean La Bruyere

Generosity gives help rather than advice.

Luc de Clapiers Vauvenargues


Trees bend low with ripened fruit; clouds hang down with gentle
rain; noble people bow graciously.  This is the way of generous things.


Generosity does not apply only to money and material things;
it is more about your spirit.  You do not have to be financially
wealthy to be generous.  You can give love, kindness, time,
listening, patience, caring, appreciation, compliments,
and service.  When in doubt, give.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.