Chasing the Thief
"One Saturday, Reb Shlomo was walking up Broadway, and a young man came up to him and said, 'Give me your money!' Reb Shlomo turned to him and said, 'Brother, it's Shabbos today. I don't have any money on me. But if I see you during the week, I'll give you a five, OK?' And the man let him go. And during the following week, he actually saw the man who tried to stick him up and called, 'Hey, brother!' and ran after him. And the guy ran away, probably figuring that Shlomo wanted to get even with him or something, but Shlomo caught up with him and with hand outstretched said, 'Here's the five that I promised you.' He really had a beautiful sense of compassion."
— Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in Wrapped in a Holy Flame
"My wife's grandfather … gave away half of his lunch each day of his life. He would either find someone to give it to or leave it for the birds and critters to eat. Give-aways do more than unburden us. They make us aware of what we can give back, all the time reminding us not to waste the precious gifts that are ours."
— Donald Altman in Living Kindness
The Heart of the Giver
"Though I had come this long distance for the teachings of a famous meditation master, the real teaching of that trip was to come from an unexpected source, for it was with the young girls that I experienced a lesson that I have never forgotten. As we were piling into the truck at the time of our departure, some of the girls who had been caring for us in the women's quarters came running with a little packet for each of the women in our group. The packets contained several cotton balls soaked in expensive Western perfume.
"At that time perfume was difficult and expensive to come by even in Rangoon, a place that none of these girls had ever visited. I could only imagine how rare it was here in this small faraway village. Perfume may as well have been a substance from outer space. The Burmese girls had offered us what was most likely their greatest possession.
"Our truck pulled away and they stood smiling as we waved at them while sniffing our perfumed cotton balls. And in their shining eyes, I glimpsed some kind of holiness. Never in my life had a gift had such value. For the intrinsic worth of any gift is not in the gift itself but in the heart of the giver."
— Catherine Ingram in Passionate Presence