Being Generous

Being Generous involves someone giving and someone receiving, but the experience of the recipient might not be as positive as the giver might assume. Similarly, for the giver, the experience might have a negative side. Or it could be very positive on both sides of the equation. It depends, right?
Our theory is that being generous is your participation in making the world a better place. But we are not going to assume that is the case. Why be generous?


We know that giving creates a positive ripple effect of more giving, so we rarely give with no expectation of anything in return. We fully expect our giving to create positive outcomes that indirectly will benefit us, albeit not in a transactional sense.
We know there is energy in the act of giving, and there is an energetic reciprocity. The issue is not the expectation of anything in return, it is more the asking for something in return. Altruistic generosity means you are not asking for anything in return.

In Contrast:
Why Being Generous Might
Look Too Risky:

  • Being generous is a leap of faith.
  • You might have a moral or religious tradition that tells you that giving is good, but in practice it is full of risks for you and for others you care about. There is no denying that you are taking chances when you give away anything of value to another, even if it is only your time. It might be easy for an independently wealthy recluse who lives alone in a humble shack to talk about being generous, but it is very different for a person who has family and responsibilities.
  • When you have responsibility to others in your family, when you are a parent, you have to think first about your family.
  • Will they have enough?
  • Will they be safe?
  • Will they be healthy and cared for?
  • Will the children be educated and prepared for life?
  • How can I be giving anything away when I can’t be sure that I will have enough to care for my family?
  • So, yes, you want to be good, but you feel kind of stuck.

How can you be generous with people in the first instance, before you know if you are going to get anything in return or if your giving will have negative consequences for you?

Ultimately, true generosity isn’t motivated purely by self-interest and your knowledge that giving to others, in the end, will benefit you. Rather, your care and generosity comes from the way that you view others in relation to yourself. Living relationally, you don’t view them as competitors or anonymous actors who, by necessity, you have to deal with in your efforts to get what you want. Being relational means that you feel a connectedness to others. What affects them negatively or positively affects you in the same way.
alt

The Seven Ways of Being Relational

As you make choices about what you do or don't do, what you say or don't say, what you support or oppose, in each instance you may or may not be relational.

alt

Being Engaged

Will you engage with others seeking quality interaction or will you stonewall, ignore, avoid, and evade?

alt

Being Centered

Will you be centered or will you react and act on your emotions?
Will you be unitive or will you recklessly align with others to create divisive coalitions?

alt

Being Grounded

Will you stay grounded or will you let your thinking about what should be, could be, or used to be cause suffering for you and others around you?

alt

Being Clear

Will you be clear or will you use clever words and deception to get your way or get out of trouble?

alt

Being Generous

Will you be generous or will you let your fear of scarcity and desire for more prevent you from sharing with others?

alt

Being Humble

Will you be humble or do you believe that you deserve special treatment and what you expect of others shouldn't be expected of you?

alt

Being Kind

Will you be kind or will you use your power and resources to force others to do what you want them to do?

alt

The Choice is Yours.

Master the ways of Being Relational. Incorporate them into your life and change the world one interaction at a time.

Explore Being Generous

Giving of your time is a powerful way to be generous. You take the time to listen and be engaged. You are patient in listening and being present. You aren't in a rush to get away and move on to the next thing.

Orans

Give of your spirit. Offer a smile. Give someone the benefit of the doubt in how you view them. Take the risk that you might be taken advantage of or pushed aside.

Orans