John M. Templeton, Jr., “Thrift and Generosity: The Joy of Giving”

This is a clearly written and short book: 103 small pages, with lots of sidebar pages devoted to a quote or two. The author, an evangelical Christian and who died in 2015, was president of the John Templeton Foundation (founded by the author’s father); before that he was a pediatric surgeon. The foreword is by Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity; there’s no index, footnotes, or bibliography.

Here’s a pretty good nutshell statement of the book near its end (98);

These stories and many more that could be told convince me that joy and spiritual contentment can be found in their greatest measure by combining the virtues of thrift and generosity. Can it be a spiritual law of the universe that we find joy and happiness by bringing joy and happiness to others? Can it be that the more thrifty and generous we are, the more we will experience the joy and peace that pass understanding?

After the introduction, then, there is a chapter on “Thrift,” a chapter on “Generosity,” and a concluding chapter on “The Relationship between Thrift and Generosity.” The point is that there is nothing wrong with being thrifty (it’s not the same thing as being cheap), especially when being thrifty makes it possible to be more generous. And that point is very well and gracefully made.

The book is not heavy lifting, but I would not call it slight, and reading it was not only enjoyable but uplifting, even inspiring. It made me want to be more thrifty and more generous!