Generosity mattersPosted by in Generosity
Generosity comes in many guises, but why is it so important?
Giving time to support or listen to someone, giving knowledge, respect, regard or praise; giving care and love…. There are many ways in which we can express generosity and it is not solely related to giving money, as we are prone to think.
Our hard wired survival instinct – looking after number one – can present a real barrier to going beyond our own needs and desires for the benefit of others. Another barrier many of us face, is that we lack a healthy sense of self-worth and self-appreciation.
To be generous to others we need to be generous to ourselves
In order to give to others, we need a healthy sense of self-worth and self-appreciation. This is only possible when we are able to acknowledge that which we appreciate about ourselves, alongside our limitations, i.e. that which we are less capable of or want to develop and change in ourselves.
And when we value ourselves we feel confident. We are able to accept ourselves as who we are, we have a sense of self-worth and feel safe.
With this confidence, comes a more open heart and mind and a capacity to give to others. We do not feel threatened when a friend, our partner, colleague or boss has a different view or opinion. We are more open to other people’s views while acknowledging and respecting our own.
Where generosity was originally associated with noble birth, today it is more associated with a noble character. Indeed, giving with open-handedness is very noble as when we are truly generous we give without wanting anything back in return – easier said than done!
Here are some tips to practice being generous:
– Start with yourself and strengthen your sense of self- worth and confidence by keeping a journal for 10 minutes every day. Review the last 24 hours, write down what you have appreciated about yourself in your day, what you have done well, what hasn’t worked so well and what you could and will do differently next time. This strengthens a learning or growth mind-set.
– Do you have a tendency to talk more than you listen? Find opportunities to give someone listening time, ask someone what’s been happening for them. Notice whether you stay with them, listening attentively or if you find yourself waiting to speak! Notice the effect good quality listening has on the other person.
“The quality of your attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking.” Nancy Kline, author, founder and president of Time to Think.
– Every day find an opportunity to give something small to someone, e.g. a smile, well-wishing, a heartfelt “good morning” rather than being silent and not looking at your loved ones or colleagues or fellow travellers, a cup of tea, a helping hand, a visit to someone who is ill or unwell, a postcard or letter to someone you haven’t been in touch with etc
How will you practice and show generosity this week? And remember: it’s not just beneficial for others, when we give we benefit too.
With warm wishes