One of the characteristics I truly admire is the capacity for generosity. By that I mean a person’s ability to be generous not just with their money, and of course that’s nice, but with their time, their patience and their humility. Generosity of spirit is one of those attributes that has an incalculable effect.
We probably all know people who do not have it. They are mean with their praise, stingy with their money, tough on those around them, bold about their own ambitions at the cost and sometimes even the exclusion of those close to them. I certainly know a few. They often attract people to them lacking in their own self-esteem which is just awful to watch. Often they see value in money spent on themselves and see no value regarding money spent on others. For example, they may be happy to spend money on an overseas adventure but shake their head when their partner wants to buy some new shoes. It makes me cross when I see it. I understand that it is rooted in their history, and isn’t something that just springs from nowhere. But that understanding doesn’t make the behaviour any more palatable.
Being generous most often costs nothing. Saying something nice costs nothing nor does being generous with your time. Underpinning someone else’s self esteem generally costs nothing. We all of us have self-doubt. Some are riddled with it, some have fleeting moments of it. People that lack generosity of spirit seem to enjoy being in the company of people who are racked with self doubt. I guess it makes them feel better, but it makes it all the more difficult when one is forced into the role of spectator. Perhaps it has something to do with propping up their own self-image by surrounding themselves with people that are needier than they are, I’m not sure.
We can all be more generous of course. We could give more to great charities, we could spare a few dollars here or there to people in real need. But equally important, we can all help people around us achieve great things by supporting them with time and energy. Sometimes all it takes to push through a task is the verbal support of someone close to you.
Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you went out of your way to help someone, with no ulterior motive. Could you do more to help other people? Is there something simple you could do that may have a big effect on someone else’s life? Sometimes this requires people to step outside their comfort zone and talk with people close to them in a way they have not done before, but how tough can that be really? Go on, I dare you, put yourself out there a little for someone else and see how you feel about that.
Being generous is such a lovely thing to be able to be.