Generosity is a quality the world needs more of. The definition of generosity is “willingness and liberality in giving away one’s money, time etc.” It means “freedom from pettiness in character and mind”. It also means putting others in front of yourself. It’s more than just about giving cash and stuff to others. It’s about being gentle and caring to others too.
In Buddhism generosity includes charity or giving material to people in need, guidance to those who seek it and loving kindness to all who need it. The motive for giving to others is as important as what is given. Buddha teaching says that the practice of giving is the foundation and seed of spiritual development. “A generous spirit is about more than just giving to charity. It is a spirit of responding to the world and giving what is needed and appropriate at the time.”
In this world there are people who will take, take, take and never give back. These kinds are unavoidable and yes, these people taint your feelings about being generous because they constantly have their hands out for the taking. They make you feel as though you are being taken advantage of. When you encounter this type of person you do have to put your foot down and stop the money train. And that’s okay. But when you are able to help someone in need in any way whether financial or spiritually, you are benefitting too.
My Mom gave me a calendar at Christmas this past year and it contains many wonderful words of wisdom. One of the months installments resonated with me when I thought I would write a little post about “generosity”.
It was written by Susan Polis Schutz and I’d like to share it with you here.
“We need to feel more to understand others, we need to love more to be loved back, we need to cry more to cleanse ourselves, we need to laugh more to enjoy ourselves. We need to establish the values of honesty and fairness when interacting with people. We need to establish strong ethical basis as a way of life. We need to see more other than our own little fantasies. We need to hear more and listen to the needs of others. We need to give more and take less. We need to share more and own less. We need to realize the importance of the family as a backbone to stability. We need to look more and realize that we are not so different from one another. We need to create a world where we can all peacefully live the life we choose. We need to create a world where we can trust each other.”