Quote: “discussing ethics and studying statistics may spark and intellectual motivation to do the right thing, nit meeting a person who was my literal neighbor took doing the right thing to the next level” (15)
Quote: “Most of the things I learned from Clarence grew out of the extreme frustration rooted in extreme differences. He didn’t see the world the same way I did, and that was tough.” (17)
Note: The chapter talks about what it means to really love your neighbor. The author shares a story about how he befriended a homeless man named Clarence in his neighborhood. Just by having this friendship, his eyes were opened to his abundance. He talks about how the people we surround ourselves with tell us a lot about the world. At the end of this chapter, we are left with the challenge to think about what is truly enough in our lives.
Quote: “When we see a need, we are also introduced to opportunity – opportunity to understand our excess more fully.” (34)
Quote: “We believe we can make the world a better place. We may only influence a few or we may change the course of history. Either way, it’s worth it.” (42)
Note: The chapter talks about how we all have things we hold on to. He shares the story of how he and his wife asked friends if they had furniture they didn’t want anymore. They were able to furnish their entire first apartment out of what was given to them. He then talks about how we always are wanting more and these desires don’t end easily. If we aren’t careful, these desires can get in the way of our giving. Personal wealth isn’t wrong, we should see it as an opportunity to give.
Quote: “Being organized does not mean we are living any simpler; it only means we are living more organized.” (48)
Quote: “Statistics are one thing, but friends are another. Numbers may challenge your mind but faces will soften your heart.” (56)
Note: In this chapter, the author talked about how he and his wife cut back on spending after overspending during the holidays. They went 7 weeks without buying any groceries, besides a gallon of milk here and there, and only living out of what they had in their cabinet. He also talks about the importance of having a community where you can be open and honest with each other when it comes to all aspects of your life.
Quote: “To determine what is enough, we must become confident with our own answer to the question. If we do not believe we are good enough, we will never have enough.” (71)
Quote: “Every person that lives less than his or her potential is limiting all human potential because that person is not offering the world the fullness of his or her true self.” (66)
Note: One of the fundamental things we ought to recognize in our lives is the importance of valuing and appreciating our individualities; accepting who we are as God’s creation and children to faithfully serve Him in our distinct ways.
Quote: “When we wear something, we physically give our personal endorsement to the story that we`re wearing and broadcasting. We become a promotion.” (79)
Quote: “And I`m looking for more ways to use my excess to make a difference.” (88)
Note: The things that we wear and how we make ourselves presentable is a fundamental element of how we express our ideas and beliefs; thus we should be careful on how we display ourselves to the public. Furthermore, if we have the spare resources to give and share to our fellow neighbor, give what you can to them because God gave us another chance despite when we have no worldly possession to buy a place in eternal life.
Quote: “Wants are luxuries that adorn those things that we need.” (95)
Quote: “A gift-for-a-gift is not giving at all; rather, it is a response to the generosity of others. Generosity has a crazy way of guilting us into giving. Our act of giving turns into a requirement and doesn`t signify any generosity at all. Generosity, on the other hand, is ‘the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return.” (101)
Note: Our wants can be a raw and untamed desire for something which can blind/clutter our understanding of what we truly need to sustain ourselves on a day-to-day business. Furthermore, what we really need sometimes is to cultivate what we already have rather than wanting something that we don’t really need.
Quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” (111)
Quote: “Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.” (116)
Note: Men are truly tested when they’re not in their comfort zone. However, you really get to reveal who a man is in his worst times. Anybody can fake who they are when everything’s good but what happens when things aren’t. Trials and tribulations not only test men but it pushes us to our limits. I’ve always been a believer in people who struggle together will always have a great bond! There’s nothing like going through something and overcoming it with the person you started the journey with.
Quote: “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” (129)
Quote: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” (133)
Note: Happiness can come in many ways; I believe it’s up to you how you use it. Things may not always be great, but you have to learn how to balance the good and the bad out sometimes.I think in order to be happy you have to sometimes just go with the flow because in life everything isn’t going to always go your way. Time is definitely what everyone wants yet uses it poorly. People don’t value their time at all. Instead of wishing for more time we should use the time we do have wisely cause it’s possible.
Quote: “I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.” (147)
Quote: “There’s only one God and you’re not him.” (149)
Note: For God this person would do anything. I believe all believers should act like this. At the end of the day if you stay true to God’s word you will always be rewarded. There is only one God so no human should ever pose to be such. Acting and saying things like that will lead you nowhere but to death.
Quote: “When we need more and can’t do it on our own, a deep faith emerges as we call out to greater powers for help.” (171)
Quote: “There’s bank account rich and there’s rich in spirit. The second kind is achieved when you make a difference. It’s the forever kind of rich that no one can take away from you…” (173)
Note: This chapter talks about how we deal with our culture; will we be consumed by it or will we be defined by our personal conscience and faith. We will leave a legacy by amplifying others, not ourselves.
Quote: “…relationships with people result in even larger, more lasting change.” (200)
Quote: “When we gain a heart of compassion toward others who have less, we want to give more.” (201)
Quote: “When we choose enough, it will result in more for the people who need it.” (215)
Note: Reevaluating our relationships is a big step to allow us to see the world from a different perspective. This then leads us to live differently and push us to find solutions in a world filled with problems.
Quote: “…to imagine a new way of living, to imagine how another person lives with less than we do every day.” (220)
Quote: “…you voluntarily offer your life in solidarity with others. Solidarity means “to suffer with” someone.” (223)
Notes: The chapter talks about doing an experiment where we give up something so we can understand and relate to those who have less than us. When we suffer with them, we began to appreciate our excess a lot more. When we learn to live without our excess, it can change our whole outlook on life and how we see others and the way they live.
Quote: “…more at times is better, and less can create more opportunities for others.” (247)
Quote: “Through a life open to community, we learn the needs of others, we are given an opportunity to give to others, and we experience generosity from others.” (248)
Quote: “Thankfulness is the completion of generosity; it completes a communal experience and giving circle.” (252)
Note: When we openly share with others we can actually gain more for ourselves. Sometimes less can actually be more because we gain from the contribution of others. When we are generous, others are generous too. Generous people are thankful when they receive generosity from others, which brings generosity full circle. Being around people who live differently than us can change our hearts and how we live.