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Excerpts - Generosity

Excerpt from Unknown Workshop*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[I've heard many suggestions from theologies about "giving without the thought of receiving." I, of course, tried it and experienced conflict as there was concurrent suggestions that "I must look out for myself because nobody else would" along with "you must negotiate to get the best deal" and on and on it goes. This left much confusion as to the "right" thing to do. This excerpt gave me something else to check out. Speaking of "checking out", Dr. Bob always says, "Don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself." Therefore, I included that statement from the this workshop.]

He wants somebody else to tell him all these things--go find out. If your curious and your interested, go find out. That's the only way I've ever found out about anything--I want to find out for myself. If somebody told me, I guarantee you I wouldn't believe it. So don't believe anything I tell you because it wouldn't mean anything anyhow. You go find out for yourself because I might be the world's biggest fabricator of lies. You know that? You don't know that. Go find out for yourself.

Let's have discussion a minute or two.

(I get anxious about the deadline for my rent, even when I have lots of money. I'm worried about that deadline.)

Did you ever think about paying it five days ahead? Then you wouldn't have a deadline to meet. But then you'd worry about it coming due next spring.

(You recommend that?)

I don't recommend anything. They're not going to throw you out. They may come ask you for the rent--you said you had the money.

(I make it important to get interest for the money.)

Make it important and you can worry about money. I'm not very interested about money because I don't ever give it much thought. To me it's simply a by-product of work and having fun and giving money away. I throw it around pretty freely and every time I give away $10. I get back $100 at least; so I have a pretty good business giving away money. But if you want interest, give it away. Also that relieves you about the anxiety of it. Now don't give it all away--just give $5 or $10 away until you get used to it--maybe you could start with 50 cents. But give away something, even if it's just a dime.

(That's a Rockefeller.)

Pull a Rockefeller, give it away without any possibility of getting it back from that direction until you can do that freely. Now don't try to give all your money away; but you can give away a little of it, can't you?

(I tried giving that money away, but I didn’t get it back.)

You gave it away to get it back. I just give away and never give it a thought. You were giving it away for the purpose of getting it back.

(Not necessarily. There are cases when I give it away as a nice thought and I can be a nice guy.)

I'm never a nice guy because somebody would make me feel bad if they didn't get it.

(Well, I think I've given money away where that wasn't the case.)

I just give it away because that looks like the place to give it; but not because I was being a nice guy.

I got over being a nice guy very early. I went home one day and told my mother that somebody I overheard said I was a nice guy. She said, "Don't let that go to your head, there's no market for nice guys." So there really is no market for them. Be an old reprobate, you get along better.

(Being a nice guy is just pattin' yourself on the back.)

That's right.

(I gave away $50 today, I'm nice.)

Well, I wouldn't want anybody to know it because everybody that heard or found out that I gave some money away says, "You were stupid for doing that." So I try to keep it to myself so they don't tell me how stupid I was.

It does work basically--not necessarily from one place. Over the years it comes back ten to one, if you also work. Now if I give the money away and sit down, I was just giving the money away and I'd go broke before long. But if I give it away and keep working, the work brings in the $10; it doesn't come in from the place where I gave it away. Remember that will you please.

There's a lot of people heard that if you give away--why it will come back running over and filling out the sides and all that stuff; but they didn’t also notice that you work along with it.

Now if I give away $10. and keep on working, I will get back $100 very quickly--but I get it back from where I work. It makes the work pay off better--I think.

There was a kid came by on Saturday night and we were all busy. He chattered away and said, "I want to be around your place." "Can I have a job?" I said,"No." He said: "Don't you have a job washing dishes?" I said, "We don't use dishwashers, we have sanitation engineers--they're highly trained people--get out of my way." So he departs and comes back in a minute and says, "Can I have a glass of water." I said, "Go in the bar and somebody will give you a glass of water." He went and got a glass of water and wandered around the place. He came back in a few minutes and said, "What I really wanted was to talk to you." "Could I hang around here and talk to you later." I said, "No "hanger-arounders," get lost, we're all busy." So he left.

He had told one of the people that worked there that he had read in the bible where it said to look at the lilies of the field--look at them in all their glory and their flowers and they labor not. He was going to try it out. He said to me, "What do you think about that?" I said, "Well, in the first place he read something that was about being anxious, not about not working. It said, "Don't be anxious about what you're going to eat or what you're going to wear because look at the lilies of the field and so forth. He was thinking about not working. The second place, he's not a lily. It was only talking about lilies--if he was going to take it literally. It's lilies that grow in the field.

I grew up on a farm and have seen a farm where no farmer was taking care of it where there were lilies. You should have seen the farm when it was left to just the Lord himself. So I wanted to see what this kid does when he sits out there in the field for the Lord to take care of him while he doesn't do anything about it.

Did you ever see a farm that nobody worked on? So when you just leave it all to the Lord, he says, "I'm not interested, I don't care what grows there--might as well be tumbleweed." So you have to put a little effort out too.

So never do you get money back from what you give away, it just makes your labor more productive.