I was recently drawn to a passage of The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran about the nature and spirit of giving:
Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving." And he answered: You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable? 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. There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.
- Khalil Gibran, the Prophet
Village Culture promotes spiritual development through sacrifice. And here in the Agbole, we are compelled to look even more deeply into the nature of sacrifice. What is the spirit in which we perform our sacrifices? Are we giving with all of our hearts and souls, or are we merely acting out of convenience? Your spirit can be transformed and purified through the sincerity of your sacrifice if you are truly giving the fullness of yourself. To do so requires not only an accurate assessment of what you have, but also who you are. What are you really made of? Ultimately, the only way you can be healed through sacrifice is to make offerings from the essence of your heart and soul. This is what it means to make money work for the Good Condition.