Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Taking It Home: Generosity

Part of Virtue Ethics

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. — Confucius

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... we discussed having a generous spirit, which allows one to be generous with all resources and gifts, not just money. We learned about the Salwen family, who sold their home and gave half the proceeds to a village in Ghana.

The Salwens

Read The Power of Half (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). It offers great suggestions from the daughter, Hannah, on how to grow a more generous spirit.

Watch this excerpt from an ABC television interview.

Living with Less

Generous can mean giving away extra. It can also mean living with less. With today's threats to our environment, people in affluent countries need to learn to live with less. By moving to a smaller home and working together for a common, long-range goal, the Salwens rediscovered the joy of spending time together as a family. Discuss with your family ways you could live with less. What could be some benefits of doing so? Giving up a resource can be liberating. Perhaps another way to ask this question is to ask, "What would you like to liberate?"

What Do You Have That You Can Give?

Want to recognize someone's birthday or special occasion, but lack funds? Give a service IOU. Give your sibling a coupon good for one bedroom cleaning. Give your best friend an IOU promise to go see a movie you do not want to see but they do.


Invite family and friends to do the 30 Hour Famine with you. This activity will help you start to understand what millions experience every single day. Seek sponsors for your famine and donate funds to a group that works to end hunger.