By • on December 23, 2008

As we are in the middle of the Holiday season, it wouldn’t be acceptable if we did not recognize giving. The most successful leaders have proven that giving is more important and much more fulfilling than receiving.

As you reflect back on the past, can you honestly say that you have been an appropriate giver? Take every failure, bad day, incidence of bad luck, misfortune, hardship, trail and tribulation, and disaster and realize that each of those was followed by a gift of some sort. Some gifts are tangible; like money, while others are non-tangibles; like a kind word of encouragement or a loud applause. You may scoff at this, but if it weren’t true you would not be sitting where you are, reading this passage.

That, my friends, is reciprocity. The greatest leaders gave something, anything, when oft times they really had nothing or very little to give. But no matter what their present adversity, they managed to pull themselves up by their own shirttail and give something of themselves to someone. In fact, the act of giving may be what ended their existing plight or setback.

The following is a list of quotes on the art of giving by great leaders of past and present, who have faced many hardships and adversity in their lives. Take these to heart and with you through the Holidays and during your journey to success.

Maya Angelou:

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

Barbara Bush:

“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”

Winston Churchill:

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

Calvin Coolidge:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Albert Einstein:

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”

Anne Frank:

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”


“Anticipate charity by preventing poverty; assist the reduced fellow man, either by a considerable gift or a sum of money or by teaching him a trade or by putting him in the way of business so that he may earn an honest livelihood and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of holding out his hand for charity. This is the highest step and summit of charity’s golden ladder.”

Peyton Conway March:

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.”

John D. Rockefeller Jr.:

“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.”

Sanskrit Proverb:

“He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity and enjoying life’s pleasures is like a blacksmith’s bellows — he breathes but does not live”.

Oprah Winfrey:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

And last but not least, no Holiday would be complete without a simple lesson from everyone’s friend, Dr. Seuss:

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

No matter how small; reciprocity brings prosperity in spirit, mind and body. Run with the Rhinos and the greatest leaders by giving back to those that give to you all year. Give of yourself today:

  • Even if you don’t think that you can afford it, pull a dollar or two out of your pocket and hand it to a homeless person or your favorite charity.
  • Turn to someone who works with or supports you (remember it can be a spouse or child), look them in the eye, and sincerely thank them for everything that they do for you and your efforts.
  • Give your time freely, to someone who needs it….it can be volunteer work, like teaching an adult to read or it can be more personal, like playing a board game with your children.

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