047: I am grateful for generosity

Today I got two more donations for my Movember efforts. One was from someone I know well and the other was from someone I just met. Both were generous.

Some people give because they are taught that it is the right thing to do and think no more about it. Others give to a particular cause because they relate to it in some way. Still others are generous because it makes them feel good. No matter what the motives, generosity is a good thing.

What is generosity?

Generosity is “liberality in giving or willingness to give; freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character; nobility of thought or behavior; magnanimity” [source]

You don’t have to give money to be generous, although if you want to go right ahead. There are plenty of ways to practice generosity without spending a cent.

8 non-monetary ways to practice generosity:

  1. Smile at everyone, even strangers.
  2. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ and be quick to do it. You know I’m big on gratitude.
  3. Help someone do something without being asked. Chores at home are a good place to start. Holding the door open while going into a store still fosters good feelings. Chivalry is only dead if you want it to be.
  4. Tell the people who are close to you that you love them. Sometimes they need to hear it unexpectedly
  5. Give a little extra. Even if you are being paid for what you are doing give a little more. People really appreciate it.
  6. Donate. Give your lightly used stuff to charity rather than throw it away.
  7. Be compassionate. If you notice another human being in distress acknowledge their humanity. Let you know you are pulling for them. Sometimes that’s all the nudge a person needs to get out of a funk.
  8. Be hospitable. Invite friends over for a meal and some companionship. Fresh baked cookies and a cup of tea go a long way. (Carol’s cookies are fantastic!)

Doing any one of those things makes me feel great… When I remember to do them.

My favorite kind of generosity is the anonymous kind. Doing something for someone without anyone else knowing that you have done it. Try it. It isn’t as easy to get away with as you would think.

Thank you Audrey and Dave for being generous and teaching me about generosity!

Photo by Eric Castro on Flickr