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With so many governments in the western world experiencing fiscal gridlock, major budgetary cuts to social services are being debated and implemented. In the United States, individual states faced over $500 billion in cumulative shortfalls from 2009 to 2012. This places a heavy burden on private industry and private donors to pick up the slack.

Despite the economic downturn, we must find a way to continue to give to causes that help those less fortunate. To remind us of our duty as humans, here are giving quotes from leaders throughout history:

  • “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”—Mother Teresa
  • “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”—Charles Dickens
  • “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”—Winston Churchill
  • “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran
  • “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” – Ben Carson
  • “My mother told me that life isn’t always about pleasing yourself and that sometimes you have to do things for the sole benefit of another human being.”—Chelsea Handler
  • “By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.”—Mark Zuckerberg
  • “No one has ever become poor by giving.”—Anne Frank
  • “The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.”—Edwin Louis Cole
  • “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance for those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.” – Elbert Hubbard

Remember these giving quotes and try to work the lessons into your daily lives. Humanity has a long way to go and much more to achieve, but through the practice of giving we can surely facilitate our journey.

-Sunny Bhatt

Sources: Good Reads, Psychology Today, Oprah, Brookings
Photo: Quotes Wave