Week 26: An Ethic of Generous Service


Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much. [Erich Fromm] When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. [The Bible, Luke 12:48] Generosity is an indispensable step in the
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In springtime (does it seem like a long time ago), we explored the development of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-competence, which usually occur in childhood, especially if well-assisted by adults. Yet we all can benefit from help throughout our lives. We value the views and opinions others have of us. Sometimes
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I am one who believes that human happiness and well-being depend on people and societies advancing beyond what we might call the contract level of human interaction. If life was perfectly predictable and every contract, or agreement, was crystal clear, we might be able to achieve a just society through
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You may be tempted to think of service along the lines of a maid or butler, or a food server in a restaurant. If so, you may be put off by the economic inequality that often accompanies and gives rise to such work. But for some people, service to others
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Beyond understanding is appreciation, which occurs as we begin to see and feel ourselves as another person or people. Appreciation reaches out from the intellect to the emotions and is important to the development of a sense of empathy.
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The kindly person is warm-hearted and gentle.
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Kindness is a step beyond mere obligation to others, though one could say that we are duty-bound to be kind to everyone. This is the finest and most enduring lesson that I took from my childhood background as a Roman Catholic. “From him who has much, much will be expected”
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