“Stingy”—it’s a funny word. Scrooge comes to mind. We usually think of “stingy” in terms of possessions and possessiveness—not sharing what we own, being tight with money. Notice that the word “tight” describes what it actually feels like to be stingy.

There are many ways of being stingy. For example, a friend of mine, someone I dearly love, is very stingy with the servings she gives to people whenever she is the hostess. It’s noticeable to her guests—everything on their plates is very small. Rumi describes stinginess perfectly in his poem “Dervish at the Door”:

A dervish knocked at a house
to ask for a piece of dry bread
or moist, it didn’t matter.

“This is not a bakery,” said the owner.

“Might I have a bit of gristle, then?”

“Does this look like a butcher shop?”

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