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Generosity

July 1, 2010

There is something about some people that makes them very attractive. And, no, I’m not (necessarily) talking about physical appearance!

Have you noticed how some people are givers? I don’t necessarily mean that they are the ones who have their cheque books at the ready to make donations to charities and good causes (though they might, and cash gifts are always welcome by any charity I am involved with). It’s something more, something intangible.

My mother likes restaurants that provide generous portions. Not just because they seem to give better value for money, but also because they are demonstrating their hospitality and welcome to you in a very practical way. They don’t have to be big and flash, they don’t have to be expensive – quality and generosity are always winners (unfortunately lots don’t seem to appreciate this).

Everyone appreciates it when someone makes positive comments about things we say and do. I really appreciate it when people are also constructively critical. They have taken praise a step further; they have spent some time and emotional energy thinking about how I can do better. Such supportive encouragement is generous and makes me feel valued.

As I watch people interacting I spot some who are always willing to help, and others who don’t even notice that help is needed. I see people running errands, offering assistance, sharing expertise and skills. I see people whose DNA seems to focus on others as well as themselves.

And that’s what I find attractive: people who take time out to help others in practical ways, in encouraging ways, in developmental ways. Without their generosity the world would be a much poorer place.

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4 Comments
  1. Chris, you’re one of those giving people, and I hope that everyone appreciates it. I certainly do. I like what you’re doing with this blog too – it’s another example of your giving nature. It’s giving me a lot of food for thought.

    I think that what puts some people off giving is the fear that they won’t have anything left themselves, that it could all be one way. I would suggest that it’s important to give to yourself too, in order to:

    a) prevent that happening, and

    b) to ensure that you can keep on giving in the future.

    Plus, I’m not even mentioning how much you get back from giving intelligently…

  2. Hi Chris, In response to Ash’s comment, I want to share this favourite quotation of mine. Around ten years ago I read a book entitled ‘Women’s Tao Wisdom, 10 Ways to Personal Power and Peace’. I feel that I am a very giving person, putting others before me many times, both in my personal life and working life aswell as being a long term volunteer. I enjoy voluntary working and feeling that I’m helping others. But, I like to keep in mind these following quotations in order to allow the nuturing of myself sometimes which then as Ash says enables us to continue giving to others:-

    “While caring for others is essential to life, an attitude of perpetual self-sacrifice can become pathological and destructive” Dreher, D. (1998)

    “A complete life must include both Yin & Yang” Dreher, D. (1998)

    “As long as we seek to live by external standards, we can never quite measure up. For as the Tao reminds us, we can find fulfillment only by being true to our own nature” Dreher, D. (1998)

    :o)

  3. Good thoughts, Sarah. Thanks a lot for sharing them.

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