Image from allposters.com
‘Merry Christmas, little daughters! I’m glad that you began at once, and hope you will keep on. But I want to say one word before we sit down. Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little new-born baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there; and the oldest boy came to tell me they were suffering hunger and cold. My girls will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?’ They were all unusually hungry, having waited nearly an hour, and for a minute no on spoke; only a minute, for Jo exclaimed impetuously: “I’m so glad you came before we began!”…..That was a very happy breakfast, though they didn’t get any of it; and when they went away, leaving comfort behind, I think there were not in all the city four merrier people than the hungry little girls who gave away their breakfasts and contented themselves with bread and milk on Christmas Morning.
Little Woman by Louisa M. Alcott
It’s so important to read good stories when you are young. I can’t even begin to explain the impact of certain books on my life, that I read at a young age. This simple little excerpt from Little Women, is one of the sweet stories that I read when I was younger that placed seeds of generosity in my heart, that I am still learning to sprout.
This was a children’s book, but it has big lessons, hard lessons for us as adults. It is better to give than receive, would probably be the bottom line message. Here the March girls, once used to much better circumstances, with a Father away at war, and their daily life much disrupted, choose to look beyond there own wants and desires, and give their own breakfast away to a much more needy family. In the end, they were much happier than if they had stomachs full of their Christmas treats. A simple little story, but one that is hard to imitate.
While it’s easy to say that I agree with this moral, it’s not always so easy to let my actions show that agreement. I may agree in mind, but my actions don’t always line up. Like the March girls, my family is in a much harder position to give right now. My husband is going to school, economy is going downhill, food prices are rising. Now, more then ever, it would be easy to try to save all those extra pennies.
But now, more than ever, others need our help. While we may be feeling the squeeze, the less fortunate are starving.
I am excited about the different ways that my family can choose to give and I am excited about how this blog can encourage others to do the same. But I would love to hear from you.
So, this is my question for you (as part of Backwards WFMW), how do you make it possible to give, even when it’s a sacrifice?
I would love to hear your thoughts. What have you done in the past, what are you currently doing? What would you like to do? How can we cultivate generosity in our lives?