Updated: May 31, 2022
Never underestimate the power of small gifts
"Even if a person throws the rinsings of a bowl or a cup into a village pool or pond, thinking, 'May whatever animals live here feed on this,' that would be a source of merit." AN 3.57 (Anguttara Nikaya)
The main point this quote offers is that no offering is too small. Even the rinsing of a bowl can be a generous offer. This is important because too often people hesitate to give because of feeling that their gift is not important enough or even feel shame at what they have to offer.
Not only is no gift too small or inconsequential, but the transformative effect is not located in the gift. It resides in the heart and mind of the giver. A very modest gift given with a heart of generosity and goodwill has a much greater impact on the giver than a huge, expensive gift that is given out of obligation, wanting to look good, or wanting anything in return. Generosity is not a tangible object, but a state of mind. It is this state of mind that we support and strengthen when we give to others.
There are boundless opportunities to make little acts of generosity each day. Make it your intention to see if you can be mindful of the conditions that might benefit from your generosity. Even something like letting someone pull out in front of you in traffic, if done with a heart of generosity and goodwill, is a transformative act.