Generosity is not limited to the giving of material things. We can be generous with our kindness and receptivity. Generosity can mean the simple giving of a smile or extending ourselves to really listen to a friend. Paradoxically, even being willing to receive the generosity of others can be a form of generosity.
The cultivation of generosity is the beginning of spiritual awakening. Generosity has tremendous force because it arises from an inner quality of letting go. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, and to give generously all spring from the same source, and when we practice generosity ... we open up these qualities within ourselves.
Like humility, generosity comes from seeing that everything we have and everything we accomplish comes from God's grace and God's love for us . . . Certainly it is from experiencing this generosity of God and the generosity of those in our life that we learn gratitude and to be generous to others.
Giving material goods is one form of generosity, but one can extend an attitude of generosity into all one's behavior. Being kind, attentive, and honest in dealing with others, offering praise where it is due, giving comfort and advice where they are needed, and simply sharing one's time with someone - all these are forms of generosity, and they do not require any particular level of material wealth.
This is for you,' he (the Alchemist) said, holding one of the parts (of gold) out to the monk. 'It's for your generosity to the pilgrims.' 'But this payment goes well beyond my generosity,' the monk responded. 'Don't say that again. Life might be listening, and give you less the next time.
Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Youth do not solely need material things. Above all, they need to have those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people ... spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, and joy.
The act of sending a letter is an act of generosity, even if, in retrospect, it might seem reckless. Why regret one's generosity? Why regret one's impulsiveness, one's misjudgment of others? The inevitable discovery that someone is selling letters you'd written in trust is simply to discover an obvious human truth: there are those who don't cherish us as we'd cherished them, and had wished to be cherished by them.
Joyce Carol Oates
I live to feel her fingers move inside of me like this. The bus makes another stop. A fat man climbs aboard, hauling himself up the stairs. I would kill him for one more moment with her fingers inside me. I don't have to. She gives me my moment for free. He lives because of her generosity. We all live because of her generosity.
Generosity is another quality which, like patience, letting go, non-judging, and trust, provides a solid foundation for mindfulness practice. You might experiment with using the cultivation of generosity as a vehicle for deep self-observation and inquiry as well as an exercise in giving. A good place to start is with yourself. See if you can give yourself gifts that may be true blessings, such as self-acceptance, or some time each day with no purpose. Practice feeling deserving enough to accept these gifts without obligation-to simply receive from yourself, and from the universe.
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life, " to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands-whether of individuals or entire peoples-need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands--whether of individuals or entire peoples--need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.
Satirical writers and speakers are not half so clever as they think themselves, nor as they are thought to be. They do winnow the corn, it is true, but it is to feed upon the chaff. I am sorry to add that they who are always speaking ill of others are also very apt to be doing ill to them. It requires some talent and some generosity to find out talent and generosity in others, though nothing but self-conceit and malice are needed to discover or to imagine faults. It is much easier for an ill-natured man than for a good-natured man to be smart and witty.
The brief story of the supper at Emmaus carries within it a number of core principles of the Christian life as Luke understands it. First, the idea that one comes to know Christ through acts of generosity to other human beings. It is because of their kindness to a stranger that the disciples find the beloved teacher whom they had lost. Second, there is the idea that they can conjure his presence in prayer and in communal acts such as the breaking of bread - by remembering his life, death, and resurrection - even in an undistinguished house in an anonymous village. The simple acts of generosity and community in daily life are the acts that make real the living presence of Jesus.