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If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times…

John O’Donohue

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Send Out Goodness

Topic: Serving Others

If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

John O’Donohue

John O'Donohue, born on January 1, 1956, in County Clare, Ireland, was a poet and author recognized for his contemplative approach to spirituality and nature. His early years, surrounded by the stark beauty of the Irish landscape, had a profound impact on his life's work. He studied at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, where he completed his Ph.D. focusing on the philosophy of Hegel. O'Donohue was fluent in Irish, a skill that connected him deeply with his cultural roots and the literary heritage of his homeland.

After his ordination and time spent serving as a priest, O'Donohue shifted his focus to writing and public speaking. His works, including "Anam Cara" and "Beauty," reflect his commitment to revealing the interplay between the spiritual and the tangible. O'Donohue's philosophical background informed his writing, allowing him to present complex ideas with clarity. His books, examining the nuances of human relationships and the natural world, garnered attention for their depth and insight.

O'Donohue passed away on January 4, 2008. His contributions to the fields of philosophy, spirituality, and literature remain valued for their introspection and wisdom. His understanding of Celtic traditions and his perspective on the human experience continue to be appreciated by readers looking for substance and reflection in their contemplative pursuits.

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(1956-2008) Humanism, Arts and Sciences
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

O'Donohue, John. Anam ċara: a Book of Celtic Wisdom. Harper Perennial, 2004.

John O’Donohue


Theme: Serving

About This John O’Donohue Quotation [Commentary]

John O’Donohue’s quote, “If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times,” resonates profoundly with the essence of service. Service, at its core, involves giving parts of ourselves—our time, energy, skills, or resources—towards the betterment of others. Just as O’Donohue notes, this expression of goodness and positivity doesn’t deplete us, but rather multiplies within us. This bounty of returns isn’t a transaction, but the natural law of the universe; the more positive energy we put out into the world, the more we receive in return.

Elaborating, O’Donohue shares, “In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” Reflecting on service as an act of love, we uncover a new layer of understanding. Love is a boundless resource, an energy that permeates and connects us all. In the realm of true service, there is no bitterness of competition, no hoarding of resources, and no desire for control. The act of serving is rooted in love, and the more we serve, the more we tap into this endless reservoir of love.

O’Donohue’s wisdom converges with the principles of service beautifully. To serve others is not to empty oneself, but to tap into an infinite source of love and goodness that replenishes us manifold. When we serve selflessly, when we give without an expectation of receiving, we operate in the realm of resonance—the “kingdom of love,” where the notion of scarcity falls away. Instead, we understand that abundance is born from generosity, that our acts of goodness reverberate through the universe, coming back to us “multiplied ten thousand times”.

Additional John O’Donohue Quotations

“When you send that love out from the bountifulness of your own love, it reaches other people. This love is the deepest power of prayer.”

—O’Donohue, John. “Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.” Harper Perennial, 2004.

“A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”

—O’Donohue, John. “Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.” Harper Perennial, 2004.

“The world can be harsh and negative, but if we remain generous and patient, kindness inevitably reveals itself. Something deep in the human soul seems to depend on the presence of kindness.”

—O’Donohue, John. “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.” Doubleday, 2008.