Episode 19: The Ungiving Tree – Interview with Dwight Gibson

I have a confession to make. I was never read the book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, when I was a child.  It wasn’t until I was at least in my twenties that I finally read The Giving Tree.

Thankfully, I had read the book by the time I first heard Dwight Gibson’s spoof, The Ungiving Tree. Actually, I hesitate to call it a spoof, because The Ungiving Tree is, as far as I’m concerned, as simple and as profound as Shel Silverstein’s original.

In today’s episode, Dwight Gibson reads to us The Ungiving Tree and reflects on the importance of sharing with the world the gifts that God has given us.





  • Dwight Gibson is the Chief Explorer with and organization called The Exploration Group.
  • Dwight founded The Exploration Group in 2009. When an organization needs to do something new, they need to be able to explore using the principles of exploration. The Exploration Group helps organizations use the principles of exploration to get from where they are to where they need to be.
  • Dwight used Tod Bolsinger’s Canoeing the Mountains to guide an organization through change.
  • Dwight will do another interview on Spiritual Life and Leadership to talk more in depth about the principles of leadership.
  • The most formative book Dwight ever read was a book about Thomas Edison that him mother gave him in first grade.
  • Dwight Gibson read the story, The Ungiving Tree, (which is a spoof of the famous children’s book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein), in the video series, For the Life of the World.
  • Dwight reads The Ungiving Tree.
  • The story was originally read to children. They immediately knew that there was something wrong.
  • The story demonstrates that we are not meant to hold tightly to the gifts we’ve been given. We are meant to share them.
  • This is a story about stewardship.
  • Markus used to think about stewardship primarily in terms of money.
  • Markus bought The Stewardship Bible to use a resource to talk about money. But The Stewardship Bible is about stewardship in all of life. It turns out that The Stewardship Bible was edited by two of Dwight Gibson’s colleagues, Stephen Grabill and Brett Elder.
  • So much of the good in our lives is dependent on the good given by someone else.
  • When we don’t share the gifts we’ve been given, the world is a lesser place.
  • Sometimes the greatest gifts we can give are the things that come most naturally to us.
  • Our work is the way we share our gifts with the world.
  • There are so many gifts in the universe that are yet to be discovered. These gifts are discovered through our work.
  • Dwight Gibson can be reached through The Exploration Group website: www.exploradelphia.com.



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