Without expectations

December 24, 2005 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

“I actually tried it,” announced Philip on the last day of my professional development class. “I gave my friend a few bucks one evening, ‘cause he didn’t have money for dinner when a group of us wanted to go out.” We were discussing the Dalai Lama’s book, Ethics for the New Millennium, and Philip was critiquing the monk’s idea that we should give without expecting anything in return.

“The next week, I did it again,” Philip continued. “I gave this guy dinner money, without expecting him to pay me back. And it felt good.” He paused and swiveled in his chair to face the other half of the class. “But then the next week when everyone wanted to go out, I was the one out of money. So I told my friend I couldn’t go because I was out of cash.

“He said, ‘Ok, have a good evening,’ and then he just left.

“Now, come on,” said Philip, good naturedly, but skeptically. “How is it going to work out if everyone really tries to follow that give-without-expecting thing? Those of us who give will be broke, and everyone else will have sucked us dry.

“Doesn’t sound doable to me,” he concluded, dismissively waving one hand in the air. “You can’t give without expectations. You have to expect something.”

::

Is he right?

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I’m converted Silent night

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Profile

profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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