A lifetime of giving

The recent retirement of 94-year-old high school English teacher, Rose Gilbert, swept through the news and caught our attention for many good reasons. Rose taught for more than six decades. And she still plans to stay involved with the education of young people, serving as a substitute teacher. She also wants to volunteer at the library and mentor students, coaching them on writing. And, oh yes, there’s the financial contribution she has made to the school for a new aquatic center and updated performance halls.

Happily, nearly everyone has known—or at least known of—someone who makes giving a lifetime practice. Often, this desire to be of service comes linked to a strong religious faith that fuels generosity. Sometimes, the giver may be a person of means so they can facilitate monetary gifts. One might say, “Well, not everyone can do that.” But giving modestly has its benefits, too. It’s really about the sincerity with which we give. The Internet is chock full of studies showing a connection between those who give and those who report well-being and good health. 

What’s the spiritual angle here? We submit that perhaps giving is more than having a big wallet, larger even than a big heart or sweet temperament, going beyond the boundaries of a noble humanitarian gesture. Christ Jesus’ teachings amplify the spirit of giving that flows directly from a God who is infinite Love, the source of all good. 

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April 15, 2013

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