Why do we need to talk about being generous?
I looked the word up intending to prove that generosity is relative, and was surprised at the definition.
1. Readiness or liberality in giving.
2. Freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.
3. A generous act: We thanked him for his many generosities.
4. Largeness or fullness; amplitude.
I hadn’t even considered the second definition. Generosity is certainly more than giving or sharing money, or even things, but when I think about it, usually that comes to mind first. I am in the Detroit airport right now, and asked the person sitting next to me what she thought of when asked about generosity. She told me quite a few things, including how she had been at a chain restaurant where the waitress was so good, that she doubled the bill as a tip, and then made a point to talk with the manager to share how great a job that person had done. Here are some of the points I gleaned from all that she told me.
- We shouldn’t have to talk about being generous, it just makes sense to treat people well.
- Generosity often comes when we see ourselves in another’s shoes.
- Generosity often speaks profoundly to the recipient, even to the extent of knowing who “your real friends are.”
- Generosity is about much more than money, and includes time, consideration, and kindness.
On my way off the plane, I helped two people with bags, and started looking for ways to be generous. Generosity is contagious!
So the assignment, if you choose to accept it, missionaries, is as follows:
Ask 2 people the question, “When you think of generosity, what comes to mind?” Be curious in the conversation and ask, “Where have you seen generosity?”
Be generous, and share the story with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.