Last week we wrote a little post on the importance of gratitude to celebrate Thanksgiving, and this week I’d like to focus on the concept of generosity, as we move into Christmas overdrive.
In our very materialistic world, generosity is often perceived as simply giving money, or things to people, often in the same way that wealth is often automatically associated with money.
But there are so many ways to be generous, and perhaps we should give some consideration to them?
First of, there is what we call generosity of spirit, which effectively means giving without expecting anything in return. There are so many ways we can do this in a given day. If you set yourself the goal of doing 3 nice (and unexpected) things for people per day, you would soon get into the habit of it…making someone a cup of tea which you may not otherwise do….offering someone your seat on public transport….giving your partner a foot rub at the end of a long day…writing someone a handwritten letter. All of these things are relatively easy to do, even in our busy lives. What can you do? How creative can you be? The payback in terms of feeling good about yourself far exceeds the cost.
And what about generosity of love? The more work you do on yourself, the easier it is to feel love for almost everyone you know…I say almost, because eventually its possible with everyone, but thats often a long way down the track for most people, but feeling love is possible, anyone who has taken ecstasy knows this…now it may be artificially induced, but it shows it is possible, so how can we generate more of those vibes in day to day life (without the gurning!).
And what about the generosity of consideration. Of stepping outside of ourselves for a moment and considering other people’s points of view? And importantly I have found, is understanding the fear behind why someone may be closed, defensive, attacking, selfish or narrow minded. It’s always fear that drives it.
And what about the generosity of giving someone time and space to go through their process. to work out what it is they need. So often we steam roller in with our ideas about what is best for them without giving them the generosity of letting them work it out for themselves.
And finally, what about the generosity of non-judgement? For those of you who have the meditation in your back pocket, keep using it to lessen your need for judgement and comparison. For bringing others down just so that you can feel elevated. If there were national countometer of judgementalism that went up every time someone in the country offered an unhelpful judgement on another person, the thing would soon exceed the limits of mathematics t continue counting, which could suggest we are living in an age of infinite judgementalism.
Not one single person in this world likes feeling judged. Not one single person dies feeling good about all the judgements they cast on others, and yet here we are being more judgemental than generous. Perhaps it really is worth us all reflecting on this. And maybe, just maybe, these little incremental shifts we start incorporating will lead to a game changing accumulation over time.
So much of this comes down to how we identify ourselves, and what worldviews have become the fabric of our personae. That will be addressed in our next newsletter.
Until then, wishing you a super happy (and silly) festive season.
Will & The Team