I only have a few readers of this blog. So when one of them asks that I write about something, I guess I should listen. The post will wander a bit but it is all related. I promise.
A friend mentioned recently, ” The SCA takes spoons, being nice takes spoons, being in a hostile environment takes spoons . . . .” I will admit long events do wear on me but I don’t think they cost me spoons. I do often say my Baggins side is in the ascendant and Oswyn is an extrovert and Sean is not. At those times, I want to go home. But at the end of the day, I feel that I usually end up with more spoons after most events.
One of my favorite books to read is the Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. These two men, along with their supporters, spiritual siblings, and more, have seen the worst humanity has to offer and give wonderful advise on how to deal with it. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is not filled with anger, bile, and retaliation. It is filled with compassion, love, and joy. In one of the sections, called Generosity, Bishop Tutu speaks more than the Dalai Lama does. He says many meaningful things.
“We are fundamentally good. The aberration is the not good person; the aberration is the bad person. We are made for goodness.”
“I’ve sometimes joked and said God doesn’t know very much math, because when you give to others, it should be that you are subtracting from yourself. . . and it then seems like in fact you are making space for more to be given to you.”
“You can’t survive on your own. You need other people to be human. We speak of Ubuntu. A person is a person through other persons.”
And lastly, the Archbishop described generosity as “becoming an oasis of peace, a pool of serenity that ripples out to all around us.”
I could probably quote the whole book. There is some much good in here about the power of compassion and that the pursuit of happiness is rooted in knowing yourself and acknowledging the humanity in every one else.
So for me, giving, be it my time, my art, whatever, is a source of joy. It can be tiring but it is ultimately worth it.