GENEROSITY IS A VIRTUE

GENEROSITY IS A VIRTUE

Generous people are able and willing to give. They give both financially and of themselves, in a way that benefits the recipient. Their gifts may include time, money, things, and encouragement.

People that give truly and freely do so because they care. They hope to see a better world and hate to see others suffer and are willing to do something about it.  Some people actually give to get, but truly generous people give simply to give. They don’t ask for anything in return. The only benefit they receive is the knowledge that they are doing their part to improve the world.

True giving happens when you are overflowing from the inside and cannot help but share. When there is so much love within you that it has to flow to others or you would burst open. There is no thinking involved, no willpower in such sharing. It just flows out. If you have to force yourself to be kind, to love, to feel compassion, you have missed the first step of filling in your own self with these emotions.

Generous people are optimistic and do not get tangled up in the misbelief that their small contribution is seemingly worthless in the grander scale. These people recognize the impact they can make through their giving and they continue doing it. They don’t give in order to impress others or broadcast how much money they donate or their impressive works of service. They do so quietly and humbly.

Giving of your time and talents often requires patience. The world isn’t going to change overnight. People who are giving understand that this process takes time.

They understand that life is about more than them. It’s about humankind in its entirety. Generous people acknowledge their part in the overall scheme of things and actively pursue their role to make the world a better place.

It takes a lot of energy to give of yourself. It requires time and motivation too. People who give not only tend to be more energetic, but also become even more energized by the very act of giving to others. They take a stand for their cause and help spur others into action. They recognize areas of need and help connect people and resources to fill these gaps.

Do you wish you were a more giving person? Generosity doesn’t always come naturally for some of us, but it’s our hope that this list of characteristics of generous people will help reveal areas to cultivate in our own life to become a truly generous person. Generosity is therefore not a random idea or haphazard behavior but rather, in its mature form, a basic, personal, moral orientation to life. Indeed, generosity is a virtue and to practice it for the good of others also necessarily means that doing so achieves one’s own true, long–term good as well.

Generosity is a learned character trait that involves both attitude and action. The virtue in this action is giving liberally along with an actual practice of ongoing giving. In a world of moral contrasts, generosity entails not only the good expressed but the rejection of many vices such as fear, greed, and selfishness.

Generosity also involves giving to others those things that are good for them, not just things that are in abundance. Generosity always intends to enhance the true wellbeing of recipients. Given that generosity is a virtue, to practice it for the good of others also necessarily means that doing so achieves one’s own true, long–term good as well.  So generosity, like all of the virtues, is in our genuine enlightened self-interest to learn and practice.

Generous folks have the right attitude about money and wealth.  It is so easy to use money as the scorecard for achievement. Instead, they treat money as means to acquire things they need, and not an end in itself.  This belief enables them to spend money on others as well themselves.  Having their name on a donor list is irrelevant.

Acting generously makes you feel good because you are helping others.

I think there are times that I have given to satisfy my ego which is not a good practice. Many people appreciate music and the arts and have given to assure that the orchestra stays in tune and the opera is available, but these often are done with fanfare and acclaim. Yet there is something very satisfying to give someone help that they need to survive.

I am concerned that generosity may an endangered character trait in today’s world. Our survival is conditioned by our ability to negotiate contracts and engage in the economic exchange of goods and services.  Do we have the time or the inclination to be generous?  There is so much suffering in the world that our efforts are never enough and we get discouraged.  Still, it is better to be a part of something than do nothing at all.

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