What does it mean to be generous? When we think of generosity, we tend to think on a large scale. Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah, and other public figures whose largesse is on display. It is easy to think about generosity being an act of the elite toward the masses. In fact, the origin of the word generosity is from the Latin word meaning “of noble birth”.
We don’t, however, need to be ultra rich to be generous. True generosity is the quality of giving things to others with an open heart and a kind spirit. In today’s world, being generous can mean giving our undivided attention and putting our phone down to simply listen. We can be generous with time, attention, advice, a smile, patience, kindness, hospitality, mentoring, money, or service to others. Everyone, regardless of their financial situation, has the capacity to be generous to others.
Giving is both an individual and a social act. When we give, we are contributing in some way to others in a social network, to our family, neighbors, members of our community, someone we coach, mentor or tutor, feeding the hungry or housing the homeless. The act of giving connects us to others and contributes to a stronger social network that adds to the fabric of our lives whether we give anonymously or in ways that are identifiable and allow us to deepen our relationships with others who are also connected to the organization’s work as donors, board or staff members, or recipients.
Gratitude is the act of appreciating life’s gifts. Generosity is sharing life’s gifts. How would you like to express your gratitude with generosity? There are many holiday guides that are released this time of year. Here are a couple of useful guides that offer some ideas for engaging your self and your family this season in turning gratitude into generosity.
For a more personalized strategy or coaching engagement and additional resources about ways to turn gratitude into generosity, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to connecting.