“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Founder of Buddhism
Many of us have a song or musical piece that we’ve listened to hundreds of times or a book that we’ve read over and over. There’s that favorite restaurant we always look forward to and the adage or saying that we frequently invoke.
Why do we repeatedly revisit these things? Well, chances are that they provide us with reassurance, fond memories, sensory delight, and/or reminders of valuable lessons learned. For whatever unique reason, they’ve become a part of who we are.
You and I can contribute to the conscious change that is taking place in our world. It’s really about your generosity of spirit. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.” As you read on, see yourself as a generous person. Reflect on how good you feel when you give. And consider renewing your commitment to giving, freely and happily.
When we think of generosity, our thoughts often drift to gifts of money or charity. But there are other gifts that don’t have a monetary value, whose value is beyond price. A word which once meant ‘of noble birth,’ generosity used to be associated with members of the aristocracy who, by virtue of their privileges, were expected to show generosity toward those in lesser standing.
Today, many of us tend to be self-absorbed. We become self-involved to the point where, without intending to, we exclude others. There is an African village where the greeting words for ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ are, “I am here if you are here.” Imagine the gift we give others when we are fully present with them – when we truly see them.
While generosity in its pure sense is altruistic, you do still get something back from it: surprise dividends in the form of a recycling of goodwill, a surplus of cooperation, and the sheer satisfaction of seeing another benefit from our giving of ourselves, our time, our attention, our knowledge, and the very best that we have to offer those who cross our paths. It’s hard to receive anything if we don’t open our hands to give.
Giving is ultimately sharing. Here are three ideas to enhance your generosity:
Give anonymously. Real generosity is doing something for someone without their knowledge.
- Give encouragement. Look around you and pick someone who needs encouragement and resolve to give them that. Consider that some people have never received encouragement in their life – not from teachers, not from bosses, not even from parents.
- Give people a sense of importance. Consider what small actions you could take intentionally today to make people feel that what they do in life is important, and that they themselves, as people, are important.
Let your generosity fly and watch what you get back.