Generosity, whether given or received, allows the chance for individuals to embrace the idea of sharing and it can be truly helpful to share one's material abundance with others. It also evokes compassion and it can be a sign of friendship.
In the west, people pride themselves and are known forsharing their rugged individualism. With this individualism comes materialism, which has become an addiction or otherwise a way of life. With the combination of these two, the value of generosity has not necessarily been lost, it has been redefined. Instead of being generous because of friendship or just to be nice, it has been altered to a gesture that is used to get ahead in life. On the other hand, generosity has been taken to the extreme. One may spend too much time on being generous and giving service or gifts to others and not focusing on being generous to their own life.
Generosity, like patience and trust provides a solid foundation for mindfulness and a balance for ones life. Generosity can be used to observe oneself or a way to practice giving. Generosity should first start with oneself. One should be able to give themselves true gifts without feeling guilty or obligated. Generosity also includes sharing gifts such as love and friendship with others. This is when generosity is truly meaningful.
When generosity become mindless or becomes a burden, then the value of generosity has been lost. Mindless giving is never healthy. There is no meaning behind the gift and it is of no importance to either groups. Such gifts today can be money, clothes, cars, homes, food, and many more materialistic objects. Generosity should come from within. It is more meaningful for a mother to receive a hand made card that tells how much she is loved instead of a store bought card that is signed with XOXO. Furthermore, one should never feel like all they do is give, give, give. At this point it is too much. Instead of being pressured to give gifts and service all the time, step back and give maybe one gift and a lending hand when you feel inwardly that it is important.
Generosity can be seen throughout the world through community service projects. Billings Habitat for Humanity is one example that shows how generosity is tied together with service and pure love of the community to help others. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing organization which builds no houses, but seeks financial support and donations of labor and building materials to build and renovate decent affordable housing for sale to people in need at no profit and no interest. Through this generous act, high school students instill in them the value of volunteerism. The students feel pride of accomplishment when they see the Habitat House they helped build.
This pure form of generosity can be learned at a young age through community service projects that require some form of physical participation so they can view that direct effect they have because of their generosity. Here are some suggestions for becoming more generous:
Yourself First- Do not forget to give yourself a truly meaningful gift every once in a while
Share - Share a gift that comes from within
Do not give, give, give - meaningless giving only lessens the value of generosity