The gifted Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein states in the introduction to this handy paperback:
"Generosity stories, kindness stories, are the ones we all must tell most to keep our hearts and spirits alive in this most complicated and difficult and amazing life."
She is right. M. J. Ryan, the author of eight books including The Happiness Makeover, Attitudes of Gratitude in Love, and The Power of Patience, has created a spiffy collection of essays about this virtue which is affirmed and praised in all the world's religions. Those with generous minds and giving hearts reap the abundance of this world. According to Ryan, this habit provides us with the ability to let go of "grudges, hurts, and concepts of ourselves and the world that stand in the way of our connection to others."
Radical generosity is good for our health and well-being (consider the helper's high). This expression of our boundless energy enables us to experience our relatedness, to look deeply at ourselves, to see there is no difference between giving and receiving, to offer our unique talents and abilities to others, and to hold true to the ardent and uplifting belief that we can make a difference in the world.
Ryan has always had a special respect for thought-provoking quotations and she evidences this pleasing capacity once again. Here are a few gems to stretch your body, mind, and soul:
"No joy can equal the joy of serving others."
-- Sai Baba
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no (hu)man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"It is expressly at those times when we feel needy that we will benefit most from giving."
-- Ruth Ross
"Each day as we embrace the sun with love and joy, we can come to the realization that giving and receiving are the same. Therefore, we will give equally without reservation."
-- Aeesha Arabio-Clottey and Kokomon Clotty
"Follow through on all your generous impulses."
With her great enthusiasm, M. J. Ryan paints a lively portrait of the royal road of radical generosity as a genuine expression of everyday spirituality.