Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inspiring Generosity by Barbara Bonner

Inspiring Generosity In a mere moment a story, quotation, poem, passing remark or mere gesture can be enough for generosity to move into our hearts and minds and become central to our lives. Inspiring Generosity is a rich offering of such moments.

The desire to act generously arrives like uninvited guest, unexpectedly, like a lightning bolt, in a mere moment. A gesture, a news story, a quotation in a book, a passing remark can change everything. For many, that moment is enough for generosity to move into their hearts and minds and become central to their lives.
Inspiring Generosity is an offering of such moments. Inspiring Generosity offers an invitation to savor a sampling of the very best inspirations on the subject of generosity. It includes fifteen contemporary stories of “generosity heroes” whose lives have been transformed by the power of generosity. Sprinkled throughout these stories are writings and quotes from Shakespeare, Hafiz, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Wendell Berry, Sharon Olds, A.R. Ammons, Naomi Shibab Nye, Donald Justice, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Steinbeck, James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Goethe, Seneca, Albert Schweitzer, and Anne Frank—to name only a few of more than a hundred collected here.
This book will help readers open their hearts to the power of their own innate generosity, their desire to make a difference in the world, to help make someone’s day a little brighter or their world a bit more secure. it will kindle a spark in readers’ hearts that moves them into the sunshine of a more generous life.
And if one life is more generous, we all prosper. That is one of generosity’s most wonderful qualities: It is utterly contagious.


Barbara Bonner has put together an easy-to-read anthology about generosity. It's full of poems and quotes from famous people such as Dr Seuss, Anne Frank, Shakespeare, Mother Teresa and many more. And there are fourteen stories, each featuring a person who decided to take the path of generosity in his or her own way.

They range from Sasha Dichter, who had a flash on his daily commute to work that he needed to stop saying no to people who asked him for help, and Mary Donnelly, who became a local legend in her district as she spent a lifetime as a healthcare worker, to the Salwen family, who radically gave away half their possessions. I think my favourite was the one about Samuel Stone, who was so careful to protect his identity as a philanthropist that nobody ever found out until 75 years after his death, when his grandson, Ted, was amazed to discover an old suitcase full of records and cancelled cheques.

It's not the sort of book that actually aims to equip us with specific methods of being generous, but one of those spirit-boosting little books for a low mood, which just might get our own imaginations ticking.

I was given an ARC copy from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

3 stars
  Inspiring Generosity available from Amazon

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