Seven Hundred Hands
I quit my job more than a year ago and recently started a consulting and coaching practice. After several months of persevering, providence brought three consulting opportunities to me in one day! I had been working on one of these for a while with a lot of back-and-forths, but it finally materialized along with two others that were surprises.
As I’ve not been working for a while, this will be a welcome infusion of cash. I’ve been thinking about how I can build charity into my new business and had decided I would give a percentage of any new work I get to charity.
When I worked out the amount to be given, it seemed a little high to me. My ego suggested I give less now and wait until I increase my reserves before I give more. Sensible right? Michael Bernard Beckwith has championed giving as we go along, not when we’ve amassed a moat of abundance around ourselves. After I meditated this morning and asked for intuitive guidance on my “dilemma,” some thoughts came to me.
Someone once said that we are here to give not to get. What can we give? We can give material objects, money, gentle words, kind deeds, or a smile. Whatever we give freely is legitimate, it is all an expression of love.
I’ve always found the religious texts, in their essence, to be sources of inspiration. For those not religious, we can see God as the universal equivalent of love, a Great Mystery if you will, that we are invited to explore. So let’s do that and use all means available to us to divine our true nature.
In the King James version of the Bible, we are asked to “abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” I’ve always remembered that last clause.
Islam, too, places an enormous emphasis on charity; in fact, it is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “charity does not decrease wealth.” In the Quran(Koran), charity is likened to “a seed which grows seven spikes, in each spike is a hundred grains.” It states that if you give for the right reasons your reward will be multiplied.
However, one should not give solely as an investment to receive and accumulate seven hundred fold more. We are not talking about the stock market. What is simply being described is the mechanism of abundance. It is simply likes scattering seeds which produce hundreds of seeds upon flowering. Or a water wheel – as long as the water flows the wheel keeps turning generating more power. This is the natural order of things.
When we give, and we see ourselves in the other, it’s a reminder that we are all one. When we give to another out of love, not pity or superiority, we give to ourselves.
To be generous is also to be reminded that the abundance we enjoy is infinite. We are here to share the abundance we receive with others. And as with any expression of love, it is only in giving without condition that we receive.
Why do you look only to your two hands when there are a seven hundred hands outstretched to receive?
Why do you look only at your two hands when there are seven hundred hands outstretched waiting to give to you?
Why do you raise only your two hands when there are seven hundred hands waiting to lift you?
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