When the stories of our life no longer bind us, we discover within them something greater. We discover that within the very limitations of form, of our maleness and femaleness, of our parenthood and our childhood, of gravity on the earth and the changing of the seasons, is the freedom and harmony we have sought for so long. Our individual life is an expression of the whole mystery, and in it we rest in the center of all worlds.

~ Jack Kornfield, 'A Path with Heart'

When we think about generosity, most of us probably don't think immediately of a powerful force, an inner resource, a real tool for changing how we relate to ourselves, to others and to our world. Instead we may think of it similarly to how we think of kindness or compassion - qualities that are gentle, tender, potentially self-effacing - and, as a big misconception, more aligned with weakness than strength. Largely this is because, culturally, we think of generosity purely in terms of the act of giving something up for someone else. This dynamic, by definition, implies at least some degree of self-sacrifice.

Generosity is more than just 'giving up'. Generosity generates its power from the gesture of letting go. Being able to give to others shows us our ability to let go of attachments that otherwise can limit our beliefs and our experiences. (...) This doesn't just happen passively; we choose to let (our attachments) dissolve through the cultivation of generosity. It is in that choice to dissolve that we carry ourselves to a state of greater freedom.

~Sharon Salzberg, 'The Real Power of Generosity'

"If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."

~Harriet Tubman