"The great Mahatma Gandi had no earthly possessions to give, but what little he had to spare, he gladly gave. Such generosity of spirit he displayed breaks me with shame at the smallness of my charity.
Giving of oneself is not an instinctive thing that we are born with; we grow it within ourselves from birth. It is a behaviour that we develop along the way and need to practise regularly to reinforce and strengthen within our automatic response pattern. It is not a natural thing to do for any person to give away one's last penny in their purse or freely bestow a cherished item or belonging on another, but it certainly is a good way of life to aspire to.
My late mother was the most generous person who ever lived as well as being the biggest cadger. She found it impossible to walk from one end of town to the other without emptying half the contents of her purse into the outstretched hand of whichever beggar was the first to approach her. I knew that the beggar would buy a beer with my mother's charitable offering, whereas she also guessed he would but hoped he just might not. When we arrived back home from our outing she would then pester my father for money so that she could buy a packet of cigarettes. She was a chain smoker for most of her life. She lived for the taste of her next a cigarette yet they undoubtedly killed her in the process and took her to the other side long before her natural time in her early sixties.
Between 1990 and 2002, I visited and held assemblies in over two thousand Yorkshire schools. Of all the lessons that the teachers taught their pupils, the greatest one was the act of giving. Every week of every school term, teachers teach young pupils the power of giving. Almost every children's class in the country is encouraged to send their money to one charitable cause or another or to sponsor this or that poor child in a foreign land; despite their own shortage of funds. I believe that this lesson to be as great in the construction of character as being taught to read and write! I have always believed that it is through the act of giving that we travel farther and reach our destination more easily in our lives; truly becoming the good people we naturally are.
Wherever you are today and however rich or poor you feel yourself to be, there will always be another somewhere who is worse off; someone whose circumstances could benefit enormously from receiving a little from the bit you have. Please start your day by remembering them and end it knowing that you didn't forget them!" William Forde: April 27th, 2017."