Most of us are a bit generous and a bit greedy, and our attitudes may fluctuate from day to day. Few of us are so generous as to have no need of improvement (Saint Francis and Mother Teresa come to mind).

To help you focus your own self-examination, answer the following questions. The questionnaire is a rough measure of your generosity. The questions provide only a generous and a greedy option. The import of the answer given may vary with the circumstances of the one giving the answer. It would be wrong to quantify your responses. The point is not to rate yourself, but to position yourself better to fight the spiritual battle.

  1. If I fantasize about winning a magazine sweepstakes, what most comes to mind is: (a) what I could do for others with all that money; (b) what I could buy, the vacations I could take, and the freedom to do what I want.

  2. When I hear of someone with about the same talents and energy and education as I have who earns $20,000 a year more than I do, I think: (a) how nice that he or she can earn that much money; (b) it's not fair.

  3. When someone outside my family gives me a significant gift "out of the blue": (a) I feel good about being the recipient of that person's generosity, and am comfortable with remaining in his or her "debt"; (b) I refuse it, or if I accept it I feel uncomfortable until I have given the giver something of equal or greater value.

  4. If I express my admiration for some possession of an acquaintance (a book, a painting, a piece of pottery), and the acquaintance offers to give it to me, I tend to think: (a) "This person is very generous"; (b) "What do you suppose he or she wants from me?"

  5. When I give someone a gift: (a) I am content if the person acknowledges the gift with pleasure; (b) I feel cheated if the person doesn't pretty soon do me a favor or give me a gift of equal or greater value.

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