You give but little when you give of your possessions. / It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. // There are those who give little of the much which they have—and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. / And there are those who have little and give it all. / These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. // All you have shall some day be given; / Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.Excerpt from “On Giving” from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, first published 1923, reprinted edition by Alfred A Knopf, New York, USA, 2005.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), a poet, philosopher, and artist, was born in Lebanon. At twelve years old, he migrated to the United States with his mother and siblings. The Prophet, written in English, is Gibran’s masterpiece and has become one of the beloved classics of our time. It is considered an expression of the deepest impulses of the human heart and mind.