Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Because I Had It

--by Sylvia, posted Feb 10, 2007
Louise M. Davies was the principal donor for the building of the very beautiful symphony hall in San Francisco. It’s named for her. A newspaper story, just after the building was inaugurated, quoted her response to an interviewer’s question:  ‘Why did you give this gift of six million dollars?’ She was said to have replied, ‘Because I had it.’

Her answer was wonderful. It was so uncomplicated. It was stating the obvious. And although she could have offered an opinion (‘San Francisco needs a symphony hall with modern acoustics’) or a personal reflection (‘I’ve always loved music. It’s important to me’), she didn’t do that either. She just said, ‘I had it.’

So simple.

Not feeling needy is what allows generosity to happen, but it doesn’t obligate it to happen. The impulse to do something has to be present.  Recognizing the possibility of creating delight or of alleviating suffering are both sources of that impulse. Both are responses to people other than ourselves. Both provide pleasure.
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Readers Comments

thaata wrote: When you act on what your heart says everything is simple and of pure love. The lady is really simple and lovable.
rosez wrote: yah... great... but its we can also do things in our own small ways...
what matters is the willingness to share
ADEMI wrote: That is the kind of heart am talking about. God bless her.
Ginny wrote: WOW! No need to explen anything big something just so plain and simpple made over thousnds of people think hey I can do something do with what I have.
Passion4Life wrote: It is not everyday that we simple "for no reason" acts of kindness. Stories like these are the reason I joined this site. Great story!
austinfriends2 wrote: This is an excellent reminder. I I have written this down as a reminder. Thank you for sharing.
sewingsphynx wrote: Ask a straight question - get a straight answer. She lady obviously had no hidden agenda. Her giving was pure and from the heart.
Camille wrote: wow. i guess she sets quite an example for all of us, yes?
speedi wrote: what an awesome lady!
sam7757 wrote: I often wonder if altruism exists. We always benefit from our good work. I love this story...altruist or not! ;-)

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