Excerpt: For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Wonderful Precepts (1993) by Thich Nhat Hanh.
“I undertake to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need.” This sentence is clear. The feeling of generosity and the capacity for being generous are not enough. We also need to express our generosity. We may feel that we don’t have the time to make people happy – we say, “Time is money,” but time is more than money. Life is for more than using time to make money. Time is for being alive, for sharing joy and happiness with others. The wealthy are often the least able to make others happy. Only those with time can do so.
Time is for being with others — being with a dying person or with someone who is suffering. Being really present for even five minutes can be a very important gift. Time is not just to make money. It is to produce the gift of Dharma and the gift of non-fear.