Seven Ways to Practice the Art of Giving

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Seven Ways to Practice the Art of Giving in the Manner of Friends:

  •  Simplicity: Quakers believe we should "live simply so others can simply live." Simple gifts that bring beauty to others are best. Handmade gifts avoid the whole commercial scene.
  •   Peace: Avoid gifts that glorify war, nationalism, and "we are number one!" attitudes. Remember Ben Franklin's statement: "There never was a good war or a bad peace." Make a contribution in someone's name to an organization that promotes peace and economic justice.
  •  Integrity: Let a gift reflect your truth. Follow your heart and not the winds of the culture. Let the person know your heart through your gift. 
  • Community: Give "presence instead of presents" and choose gifts that promote shared experiences rather than the accumulation of objects. We are a community of living beings that thrive when we connect in positive ways.
  • Equality: A gift that does not reflect status but instead reinforces our common humanity shows a commitment to equality. Cash gifts separate out the "haves" from the "have-nots" in ways that can diminish our sense of community.
  • Service: Do a service project in someone's name. Join someone in their favorite service project activity: this is a gift that will give back to you too!
  • Stewardship: Pay attention to the "seven generations" model when selecting gifts or activities - we want to maintain the beauty and sustainability of our beloved planet for the next seven generations.


We have many blessings already in our lives. May the holiday season be filled with generosity of spirit and a commitment to making the world a better place for everyone.


In peace,

Teacher John



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This page contains a single entry by John published on November 12, 2014 6:36 PM.

Tough Love Quaker Parenting was the previous entry in this blog.

Twelve Guides for Living You Might Share With Your Kids in 2015 is the next entry in this blog.

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