Saturday, December 4, 2010

Be Magnanimous

To be magnanimous is to show extraordinary generosity. This is a rare virtue about which we do not hear too much. 
To Aristotle, the most important and most beautiful of all virtues was magnanimity. While it is good to love and care for others, magnanimity does something superior. It seeks to increase our resources in order to enhance our capacity to be more generous.
Possessing a magnanimous spirit is a definition of a noble and virtuous character. Why is magnanimity such a magnificent virtue? Aristotle argued that it embraces a host of other virtues. If we are magnanimous, we also display towards our fellow human beings an attitude of respect, goodwill, kindness, gentleness , and, above all, forgiveness.

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, the eighteenth-century French philosopher, wrote that when people are kind and sensitive, they are more likely to be happy, particularly when this happiness is shared.
The “Toronto Appeal,” a manifesto written by the author in 1992 and signed by four Nobel Prize winners, stated the followin: “In today’s world, let the hungry child in Kabul become your child in spirit. Let the poor widow in Sri Lanka become your sister in spirit. Let a hundred flowers bloom within your heart.”
A magnanimous spirit opens a passage to inner harmony. An East Indian proverb advocates “if we are truly generous, we can also be truly wise” and that kindness is the greatest wisdom.

I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt from my book.  I will be posting more excerpts in future posts, so please come back.  Click here to buy your copy of A Book of Wisdom and Delight from Amazon today.

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