Generosity – giving anything without the expectation of a reward.
When we give something from the heart not only are we exercising kindness and compassion we are providing benefit to others. It is this that is most important and what we should remember.
While we may not expect any reward while practising generosity, we most certainly often gain from the experience. Whether it be the warm feeling in our heart to expressions of gratitude we quite often reap the benefits of giving.
Generosity relates not only to giving material things but also thoughts, actions and words. To provide someone a complement or even the act of offering a smile are also acts of generosity. While we may not have the physical means to offer great wealth we can always share what we have, smile or say nice things.
I remember a story my wife told me about a trip to Bali she once took. As she was walking down the street a whole family were by the side of the road mum, dad and two kids. The father was attending to the family’s only means of transport, a motorbike, that had obviously broken down. As my wife walked past the family they all looked up and with bright, beaming, smiles said hello! Such joyful enthusiasm and generosity to offer at a time of stress and frustration was truly a beautiful thing.
If we are honest with ourselves, it would be difficult to imagine ourselves responding in quite the same way if were in the same situation. However it is important to know that it is possible and generosity can often be the antidote to many of our negative emotions.
Give it a try next time you are feeling low or disgruntled in any way, take the opportunity to practice generosity in any way you see fit. Check in with what effect it has on you without expectation of a reward.