Thank you, Sally. You have this wonderful simple way of deconstructing the unthinkable and making it so easy to grasp. Please keep writing.
Sean M Kelly
Beatuiful thoughts and ideas. I love the fact that being generous tests our belief in abundance and how you explain generosity in terms of us all being one.
thank you for this article. i try to practice generosity everyday but reading this made me think more deeply about my own generosity and how i can make it more pure and natural.
Your article was very inspiring.pray that God continues to give you strength to cotinue his work.I am sure lots of us will benefit if we just pracitce.
Colleen; of course there is a way! Just tell them exactly what you explained here. It might even inspire the people to do the same!
Aren't you taking a job from someone when you volunteer? And doesn't it devalue the work to do it for free? Basically, you are saying your work isn't worth anything to anyone when you work for free.
I enjoyed your article. However, I'm still struggling with how to handle the upcoming Christmas Season. My husband and I just finished a huge renovation to our home, using a financial gift from my parents. Now we are back to having only my husband's fixed income (he has a health issue which forced early retirement), with which to spend on gifts. Most of the people we would ordinarily buy gifts for, don't really need them. In fact they have more discretionary income than we do. I'd like to donate my time to those in need, rather than my money, for gifts no one needs. Is there a polite way to explain this to those who are used to receiving gifts from us at this time?
Being generous.....to forgive our human mis-steps and mistakes.
Giving our time, our smile, our hearts to each other and the cosmos
Your articles are always the first ones I turn to when I open my monthly issue of YJ. What I most appreciate about them is the way you present so many angles on a topic for further contemplation. This article on generosity brought up for me my personal tendency to give freely and joyfully when it's not asked of me, but to feel burdened and/or put out when someone I know ASKS for my help or money. In those moments I feel a knee-jerk reaction borne of my childhood experiences with my father's out-of-control behaviors which forced my family to have to cater to his needs over our own. I feel old buried resentment and anger and boundary issues rise to the surface of my consciousness and I'm aware that I'm superimposing old 'stuff' on to the present moment. I can't change my past, but I can see how easy it can become to let old conditioning and unresolved issues affect the way I respond in the present if I'm not aware of them. (That's why your additional questions for contemplation are so useful!) I also felt an 'aha' moment when I read your comment about overgiving when a person doesn't value themselves or the worth of their gifts. When I was a little girl my parents would wait until Christmas Eve to do all their shopping and inevitably the 'hot' items for the season would be gone from the shelves so I rarely would get what I had been hoping for. My inner response would be to feel like I must not be worth the effort it would take to shop early enough for the things I wanted. When I had my own children, I went so over the top with Christmas gift giving it was pathological. I became aware over time that I was trying to heal my own inner child's hurts by making sure that my children never had to feel like I did. I gave them everything they asked for and much, much more. Here's the problem with my overgiving to them--inadvertently I could have created the same feeling in them in reverse--"What inadequacy in me is my mom trying to hide by trying to make me feel better by giving me so much?" Yikes--this is how family patterns of dysfunction are created! Such is the sport of the ego!
It was a very useful and well-written article. I would like to add another suggestion for exercising generosity: child sponsorship. Think of it as a lifestyle commitment to generosity (at a financially modest level!) - you are connecting somewhere with a child who needs your help - and your words of encouragement.