Simple Gifts by Aaron Copland
'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.
Zen Parable: The Giver Should Be Thankful
While Seisetsu was teh master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei, a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodious school. This money he brought to the teacher.
Seisetsu said: "All right. I will take it."
Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of teh teacher. One might live a whole year on three ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.
"In that sack are five hundred ryo," hinted Umezu.
"You told me that before," replied Seisetsu.
"Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred ryo is a lot of money," said Umezu.
"Do you want me to thank you for it?" asked Seisetsu.
"You ought to," replied Umezu.
"Why should I?" inquired Seisetsu. "The giver should be thankful."
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Matthew 5:22-24 (King James Version)
22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Romans 5:15-18 (King James Version)
15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:7
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.