Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hooked on Giving

LeTourneau University

Dr. Mar Aprem of the ancient Chaldean Orthodox Church of the East in India tells a funny story about when a member of the church won a lottery worth 100,000 rupees. His wife went to the bishop and told him that she was afraid to tell this glad news to her husband because he had a heart problem and any sudden excitement could cause a heart attack.

The bishop offered to break the news gently to her husband. He visited the house and asked the man, "Wouldn’t it be a good thing if you won 1,000 rupees in the lottery?" The man replied that he still would have to work to support his family.

"What about 10,000 rupees?" the bishop asked. The man still showed no excitement, so the bishop carefully raised the amount to 50,000 and finally to 100,000 rupees.

"If I got 100,000 rupees, I would give half of it to you, your Excellency," the man replied.

The bishop had a heart attack, and the man called an ambulance.

We can get excited about winning and getting. But have you learned how fun it is to give -- and not only money? Engineering and machinery genius R. G. LeTourneau (1888 - 1969) discovered the great joy that can come of generosity. Besides establishing a private school (today's LeTourneau University), that remarkable man reportedly gave 90 percent of his income to worthwhile causes, while living on the remaining 10 percent. He became hooked on giving!

And like I said, money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.

Giving is fun. And addictive. It's something I'd like to get hooked on.

-- Steve Goodier

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