In this short essay from her book, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Maya Angelou explores the relationship between giver and receiver expounding upon the immense value of even the smallest gift. She writes that giving not only benefits the receiver but also "liberates the soul of the giver." Angelou wonders why some philanthropists fail to find this value and choose to believe instead that it is as debasing to give as to accept a gift. She diagnoses their problem as giving "out of duty rather than delight" and advocates instead free and heartfelt giving. Do you agree?
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The Civically Engaged Reader, eds. Davis & Lynn, (Great Books Foundation, 2006).
How do we know what a gift achieves?When I give, what do I expect in return? What do I receive?How do we know the impact of our actions?How do I know that I am making a difference? Is it possible to know?Is money a good gift?What is the appropriate response to privilege?