Generosity in Practice

Generosity gives assistance, rather than advice. Vauvenargues

The temptation to give advice (some of my posts are testimony to that) is looked upon as a right mainly because it is given free, does not have tangible responsibility attached to it and the consequences if adverse are faced by those used the advice. There is also the possibility of the advice working well and then those who propounded it can thump their chest with pride and tom- tom to the world that it was their suggestion. ( I am hoping that the daily posts here over the past 2 months have actually benefited many. The feedback suggests so, as also the number of hits to the site bears testimony to it too.)

Generosity on the other hand is all about giving freely not just from your excess but true generosity is sharing what ever you have with an other. Unlike advice which is merely verbal, real generosity demands physical parting; be it money or other tangible riches like food, clothing etc. The heart of generosity though demands much more including sparing time to be with those who need you, having the compassion and the empathy when spending time with those who crave for your company and having tons of patience for generosity is very demanding.

The most generous gift anyone can give is the gift of their time. Time as you will know is given to each of us in equal measure so you are never giving out of your excess time but making a choice to allot time for a generous cause. The paradox of modern life is that while technology has progressed to narrow the distances between  distant lands, connect people across the globe and make communication instantaneous more and more people feel lonely alienated and aloof.

Let me share with you a real life example of a very well off couple who is known to me and how their generosity is worth emulating. The couple have dedicated an evening every week to spend time with the inmates of an old age home. What is more interesting is that they never go to that home empty handed. The couple will knead the dough and make wheat bread for the inmates and some accompaniment too (it is obviously also much more tasty for it is home made, fresh and filled with LOVE). While the wife is personally serving the food, the husband helps out in trimming the finger nails of the inmates and also shaving those who can’t do it themselves. This couple can so easily outsource the food or hire a barber to do the chores but it is their time and LOVE that is true generosity.

Remember: Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.” – Frank A. Clark

Try these:

  1. Identify a similar program to the one above, where you can put into practice your generosity. Fine tune it to your abilities and compliment it with the requirement of those receiving it.
  2. Make it a point to get to know at least one new person every week. Also form the practice of meeting, greeting and spending a few minutes with different people everyday. Remember there are many people whose outward smiles and flamboyant demeanor actually mask a very lonely and possibly bitter person. You never know whose life you touch and change by spending a few minutes with them.

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