Through the ages, the world's cultures and great religions have in profound, though different, ways sought to answer the big question: how should we live? Part of the answer has to do with how we ought to treat others, particularly those who are most in need. Ample evidence suggests that giving selflessly to others lies at the heart of what it means to be a thoughtful and moral human being. In Being Generous, author Theodore Roosevelt Malloch leads an exploration of this important concept of generous giving.
He begins by examining how generosity fits into the various spiritual traditions, philosophical schools, and economic systems. Further chapters illustrate how generosity need not necessarily always be about money, showing instead how it might also involve the sharing of time and talent. Elsewhere, Malloch explores the science behind generosity, looking, for example, at the relationship between various chemicals in the brain and generous behavior. Beyond the theory and the science of generosity, readers will also find a wealth of inspiration in a collection of profiles of past and present icons of generosity.
Being Generous concludes with a practical action plan that lays out concrete steps that can guide readers toward lives of greater giving.
Foreword by John M. Templeton Jr., MD / xi
Preface / xv
1: Generosity: A Universal Moral Urge / 3
- The Pew Family / 7
- Calouste Gulbenkian / 13
- Wafic Rida Saïd / 19
- Li Ka-shing / 27
2: Charity and Gift / 30
- The Maclellan Family / 33
3: Stewardship Spirituality / 36
- Sebastian Spering Kresge / 41
- George Cadbury / 47
4: Time, Treasure, and Talent / 49
- William Wilberforce / 51
- Johann Sebastian Bach / 55
- Felix Mendelssohn / 59
5: Generosity and Economics / 61
- J. C. Penney / 63
- John Walton / 67
- Henry Ford / 71
- Eli Lilly / 73
6: Generosity and Science / 75
- Jeffrey Skoll / 77
- John Templeton / 79
7: Responsible Generosity / 81
- John D. Rockefeller / 85
- Gary Ginter / 89
8: A Generous Society / 93
- Andrew Carnegie / 95
- Joan Kroc / 97
- Mother Teresa / 99
9: Generosity and Purpose in Life / 103
- Bill and Melinda Gates / 105
- Warren Buffett / 107
- Oprah Winfrey / 109
- Michael Bloomberg / 111
10: Final Thoughts / 114
- Arthur Blank / 117
- C. S. Lewis / 121
Appendix A: Twenty-one Books to Read on Generosity / 125
Appendix B: Real Life Stories of Giving to GlobalGiving / 129
Appendix C: About GlobalGiving / 139
Notes / 141
thegoodbookstall.org.uk (online review)
This is a book I will refer to in the future. There are certainly many people who could benefit from the tenet that true happiness is found in giving.
Spirituality and Practice—website review
St. Augustine said: “Discover what being generous means, and begin living it.” Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, chairman and CEO of the Roosevelt Group, a leading strategic advisory and thought leadership company, took that advice and has nurtured it for many years. Also the founder and chairman of the not-for-profit Spiritual Enterprise Institute, the author sees generosity as “a virtue, a habit that shapes and governs a way of life. It influences expectations, causing people to look at the world as though others—not themselves—are the principal reason for the world's existence.”
Malloch takes a brief look at how all of the world’s religions see generosity as a mark of living well in the eyes of God. Even modern secular philosophy celebrates this virtue as “a universal moral urge, our defining nature.” The author then examines his own tradition of Christian thinking by focusing on St. Paul's teachings and practices of generosity. He concludes that those who respond to the gift of grace offered by God are energized to give freely to others.
Anyone who is thinking seriously about generosity knows that it does not just include giving money. For most people, it involves the gift of time and talent, in service of others: “Stewardship is not some Faustian bargain or a form of long-term hedonism directed to the happy afterlife. It is nothing more than a 'living' faith, here and now, next door, across the nation and around the globe.”
Malloch points out that helping a stranger is congruent with a free economy, that science has proven that unselfish giving spurs mental and physical health, that the future of giving looks bright, and that business and society are opening to the idea that responsibility and generosity belong together. The author has included profiles of people he sees as exemplars of generosity including Mother Teresa, Johann Sebastian Bach, William Wilberforce, Oprah, Andrew Carnegie, and others. —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Visit Spirituality and Practice for reviews on other featured books.
Center for Neuroeconomics Studies (website review)
The book draws on a variety of evidence to show that generosity is not only good for society, but good for the individual. Throughout this inspiring book, pithy and interesting one page biographies appear of well-known givers and their motivations for helping others. These range from Johann Sebastian Bach, John D. Rockefeller, and Mother Theresa to Bill and Melinda Gates.
Faith-Based Philantropy Blog
Theodore Roosevelt Malloch's embrace of the generous life and its reciprocating benefits bleeds through every page of his new book Being Generous. He wrote this short book with one simple goal for its readers: “Discover what being generous means, and begin living it.” . . . As a believer in the joy and meaningfulness of generosity, I commend his compilation of motivations for being generous.
[T]his is a no-brainer gift book for every person who wants to be a God-honoring and generous giver. The bad news: just when you thought you understood generosity and believed yet-one-more-book is certainly not needed on the subject, Theodore Roosevelt Malloch serves up a sumptuous feast. In 139 pages, no less!
Being Generous is profound—yet very, very readable. It's not yesterday's leftovers—it's new thinking pulled from the widest array of knowledge—served up with inspiring side dishes that motivate and are generously seasoned with wisdom.
To read the complete review, visit: John Pearson’s Buckets Blog
Center on Philanthropy (IUPUI)
In recent years, philanthropy has become an essential ingredient in popular culture—from Oprah’s Big Give and Idol Gives Back to the eponymous television show The Philanthropist. But often what “philanthropy for the masses” lacks is a thoughtful grounding in the moral and religious principles of giving. In Being Generous Ted Malloch, a sharp businessman and mindful philanthropist in his own right, delivers an insightful and practical guide to the art of giving.
Malloch’s purpose is the “embracing of generosity as a virtue” which he examines through religion, science and economics. Synthesizing recent research from the medical sciences combined with classical economics and traditions from the world’s religions (even secular beliefs), Malloch provides a comprehensive understanding of what generosity means, where it comes from, and the power it holds in our lives. In short, being generous is not just about monetary contributions or adhering to a suggested tithe, but rather the joyous action of sharing our time, talent and treasure.
Being Generous rightfully does not ignore the dark side of philanthropy—giving that is misguided or uninformed. By highlighting the serious dilemmas of international development assistance, Malloch is not afraid to ask tough ethical questions, including “What does it mean to help someone?”
Beautifully interspersed in the text are vignettes that spotlight the work of noted philanthropists. From Andrew Carnegie, one of America’s early industrialists, to Jeffrey Skoll, today’s social entrepreneur, these vignettes shine a bright light on how philanthropists, grounded in the philosophy of being generous, have made a significant impact with their giving.
This book is accessible to people in all stages of life, of all faiths and of all traditions. No matter where you are in your “formation” (indeed, formation is a life-long journey) careful study of generosity may just bring you closer to peace and fulfillment. —Dr. Patrick Rooney
I just finished reading Theodore Malloch’s wonderful new book Being Generous (Templeton Press, 2009) that investigates the reasons for and results of generosity. The book draws on a variety of evidence to show that generosity is not only good for society, but good for the individual. Throughout this inspiring book, pithy and interesting one-page biographies appear of well-known givers and their motivations for helping others. These range from Johann Sebastian Bach, John D. Rockefeller, and Mother Theresa to Bill and Melinda Gates.
If you want to connect to others, being generous is a great start. You can follow Malloch in this—he is donating all book royalties to the charity portal Global Giving. If you would like to choose a project to donate to, go to www.globalgiving.com. You just might feel the joy of generosity. —Paul J. Zak
To read the complete article, visit: Psychology Today
The Huntington Post
What makes it especially powerful is his description of his own journey from self-described narcissism to compassion: “It never came easy. I have always had a ‘meritocratic’ outlook. That is . . . you get what you earn, what you deserve. . . . I found it hard—often very hard—to give what I had earned away.”
Being Generous weaves personal narrative with a brief description of the injunction to generosity in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American and Aboriginal spiritualism, Confucianism, and secularism. Malloch then weaves in stories about an exceptional mosaic of givers, both big and small, well-known and obscure.
To read the entire review, visit The Huntington Post
Malloch’s book will be of great value to all those who strive to improve the human condition, from donors to nonprofit organizations.