Hi ! I agree with you if you say that “Generosity” is mostly an inherited quality. There are those, women or men, rich or poor, who are generous by nature and there are those who are not. You may be a very generous person. I am thankful to you for being so.
Even though many people are generous by nature, I would say that many of us who can be generous are not so because of our wrong values, lack of knowledge of what good generosity can do, and also carrying on our family ways and tradition of not being charitable. In simple words, whether we are generous or not is just a habit. We don’t give enough thought to it. The general norm is, “Spend anything on yourself or your own family. But don’t spend for others or give to others.” Ironically, some people don’t even spend much on themselves! They just have fun by looking at the hoarded money often, and viewing the bank balance every now and then, and comparing themselves with their relatives and friends!
I used to think that rich people will always be generous. I found out that this is absolutely not true! You can even say that the reverse is true. The truth is that the millionaires and billionaires compete with other tycoons and want to be richer than them! They have gone so far off the radar of ordinary people living their lives to make ends meet, they live in their own power-crazy, rat-race world. They lose all sensitivity to ordinary citizens in need for food, shelter and other basic needs for themselves and to provide for their family.
So the point I am trying to make is that we don’t have to be filthy rich to be generous to others. Whatever our capacity is, we can share a little with others. I am talking about just every day simple life. If some opportunity comes our way to be generous, let’s do it. That’s all. We don’t have to make it our main job in life.
Everything we do is basically because we want to be happy. But when we are charitable, we make another person happy too, in addition to ourselves. Everyone knows that when you give charity to someone, it helps that someone. But what many people don’t know is that it helps the giver as much, if nor more. There is a wonderful expansion of goodness, love and happiness within us when we see the sweet smile of joy on the face of the person who receives. What seems like a down to earth saying, “What goes around comes around”, is actually a profound fact.
There are many ways of being generous other than giving monetarily, such as our time and other assistance one may need. Being kind to someone who is hurting, caring for a sick person, doing someone’s chores in times of need etc. However, what most people have problem with is parting with their money! So that is what I am focusing on here.
In democracy and capitalism, money is not expected to stagnate. It is supposed to flow around. It should be given and taken. It should spread to everyone who wants to improve their well-being and quality of life. Unfortunately, call it destiny or misfortune or whatever, some people are unable to make it on their own. And it is the duty of those who are well-off to support these people.
Let me go back to the statement I made earlier. Being generous or not generous is just a habit. It really is. Once you give the first time, it gets easier the next time. Couple that with the understanding that you will get that back somehow ten times more, being generous is a piece of cake!
One way to practise this is “tipping”. If the service is good, no matter what type of service it is, tip them generously. The happiness they feel will resonate back to you. The waitress or waiter in a restaurant, the busboy, the hairdresser, the delivery guys, give them freely. If you are in a hotel, give generously to the service people who work so hard all day. Be kind. They will bless you. Besides, isn’t it great that we are blessed to be in a position where we can give, instead of asking or begging for help?
By the way, when you feel generous, give right away before the mind changes. If not, your mind will come up with a million reasons for why you shouldn’t do it!
Another time we can be generous is when we are looking for the cheapest gift to take a friend’s get-to-gether event. Think of the friend as your own sister or brother or loved one. Will you be bargaining so much? Besides, being petty will leave a bad taste in their minds about you.
When I have to pay a considerable amount of money for some work or service done at home, I tell myself, “Well, in a way buying this helps someone to make a living. So it’s okay.” When I feel like a handyman is charging me a little bit more than expected to fix something in my house, I tell myself the same thing. But beware, this is not a recommendation to be selfish or an excuse to be extravagant and spend money irresponsibly. There is a fine line that crosses between generosity and extravagance!
So, my suggestion to everyone who is wondering about being generous is, “Give big, heartily, happily! It will make you feel good about yourself!” And by the way, don’t expect anything in return. Because that will cancel out the rewards you will get by giving! Think of a Rose or a Jasmine flower! It offers its beauty and its fragrance generously to us, but it does not expect anything back from us. Let’s be the same way!