Then he exploded. "No!" he said. That familiar injunction. I'd heard it so many times. "No. I cannot take this steel. It would not be correct." He opened his knife drawer. "It goes here," he said, "until you return."(That's how you leave: by never saying good-bye.)And I learned that: to return. I came back the following year and the year after that. I hope to return every year (after all, I may never have the chance to learn so much), until I have no one to return to. (301)
All men, or most men, wish what is noble but choose what is profitable; and while it is noble to render a service not with an eye to receiving one in return, it is profitable to receive one. One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one's friend if one is unwilling to return his favors.
If literature is to transcend political interference and return to being a testimony of man and his existential predicament, it needs first to break away from ideology. To be without "isms," is to return to the individual and to return to viewing the world through the eyes of the writer, an individual who relies on his own perceptions and does not act as a spokesman for the people. The people already have rulers and election campaigners speaking in their name.
You may wonder, 'How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old? The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the 'same old thing. What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.
We need to reverse three centuries of walling the for-profit and non-profit sectors off from one another. When you think for-profit and non-profit, you most often think of entities with either zero social return or zero return on capital and zero social return. Clearly, there's some opportunity in the spectrum between those extremes. What's missing is the for-profit finance industry coming in to that area. Look at the enormous diversity of the for-profit financial industry as opposed to monolithic nature of the non-profit world; it's quite astonishing.
It's curious that the Church has become the most tightfisted at the very time in history when God has provided most generously. There's considerable talk about the end of the age, and many people seem to believe that Christ will return in their lifetime. But why is it that expecting Christ's return hasn't radically influenced our giving? Why is it that people who believe in the soon return of Christ are so quick to build their own financial empires--which prophecy tells us will perish--and so slow to build God's kingdom?
Unconditional love. That's what he wants to give her and what he wants from her. People should give without wanting anything in return. All other giving is selfish. But he is being selfish a little, isn't he, by wanting her to love him in return? He hopes that she loves him in return. Is it possible for a person to love without wanting love back? Is anything so pure? Or is love, by its nature, a reciprocity, like oceans and clouds, an evaporating of seawater and a replenishing of rain?
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