12/05/2022 🎄Generosity🎄   2 comments

Christmas has always been a season of giving from the Salvation Army Santa’s to Soup Kitchens, and the efforts of almost every religious group I can think of. I was curious about the generosity of previous generations but not only for the Christmas Season but generosity in general. So, here are a few samples of it from the past that have been long forgotten.

  • John D Rockefeller made his first contribution to a philanthropic cause at the age of 16, which was in 1855. By the time he died, 82 years later, the oil magnate had given away $531,326,842.
  • Ernest Hemingway gave to The Shrine of the Virgin in eastern Cuba, where he lived, Nobel Prize money he had won for the novel The Old Man and the Sea. “You don’t,” he said, “ever have a thing until you give it away.”
  • When he learned, in 1905, that one of his company’s batteries was defective, Thomas Alva Edison offered to refund all buyers. From his own pocket he returned $1 million.
  • About $330 million was donated by Andrew Carnegie to libraries, research projects, and world peace endeavors.

  • Gerrit Smith, a trader of Dutch descent, made available 120,000 acres of Adirondack wilderness to runaway slaves – a noble experiment with the help of his son, who was a professional reformer active in the Underground Railroad.
  • To help raise funds for the starving poor of Berlin, Albert Einstein in 1930 sold his autograph for three dollars for a signature and autographed photographs for five dollars each.
  • In his will, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish patriot who fought in Washington’s army in the American Revolution, specified that the US land tracts he had received should be sold and the money from the sales be used to purchase the freedom of black slaves.
  • From his own pocket, Superintendent of Finance, Robert Morris, met the American army’s demobilization pay in 1783. He was later thrown into the debtor’s prison, financially ruined in land speculation.
  • The Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant devoted so much of his money and his energy to the establishment of the Red Cross that his textile business failed, and he became penniless. He was a cowinner of the first Nobel Peace Prize, in 1901, and left all of the prize money to charities, not to his family.

After reading all of these examples it just proves to me that generosity has always been around but in many cases, never acknowledged. It’s nice to know there’s a certain percentage of the population willing to make pesonal sacrifices to help others. That’s a Christmas wish if there ever was one.

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2 responses to “12/05/2022 🎄Generosity🎄

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  1. 💗This is a beautiful post but we can’t all be a Rockefeller or a Carnegie. Generosity is something that comes from the heart. It’s reconciling with family members and putting grudges aside. It’s reconnecting with an old friend and knowing that you’ll always be there and they will, too. It’s a simple act like going into McDonald’s and buying a a meal and a hot cup of coffee for that tattered guy standing by the door trying to keep warm. It’s handing an old coat and a blanket to a homeless person. It’s buying some cozy socks and toiletries and donating them to Vets. It’s going to a Nursing Home and spending time with a complete stranger and allowing them to talk about their life. And it’s buying one little toy for a poor kid whose family can’t afford to give him one.
    We all have the ability and capacity to be generous, if not with money, then just ourselves, a smile, and the touch of a warm hand.
    This truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. We should all make the most of it. It’s the most satisfying and enriching feeling we will ever experience! (Told you I was a maudlin sentimentalist).

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