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Gaining by Giving

From The Birmingham Age Herald, May 23, 1915.

You who’re healthy, you who’re wealthy, you are lucky, I’ll agree,
But I wonder if you’re happy as you’d really like to be.
Nay, I know, if you are selfish, with a selfish aim and end,
You’re less happy than the beggar who is sharing with a friend.

All the money you have hidden on your little, private shelf
Will procure you little joy, if it’s only for yourself.
For the moral law is written on each real, human heart
That our happiness is measured by the shared—not hoarded part.

Joy’s strange, and though we seek it, yet we seldom understand
Why it smilingly eludes us as we grasp with selfish hand.
But we’re yet to learn, most of us, that it is as God intends—
That our joy grows the greater as we give it to our friends.

For, as sure as you are living, and as sure as you will die,
Joy never was intended on some hidden shelf to lie.
And you’ll never know the joy that is lasting, deep and true
‘Till you’ve shared, in love with others, that which God has given you.

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