We are first moved to help others in need from a sense of generosity. But generosity is not yet commitment. Commitment begins when we realize that the gift goes both ways, and that we often get back even more than we give. It is this reciprocity that enables us to sustain our commitment over time. Without it, the generous impulse would sink under the weight of a one-sided relationship that could only be maintained by an effort of will, draining us of our energy and humiliating the recipient.
A L'Arche community leader in Haïti. Photo by Eric Bellefeuille.