Saturday, January 17, 2015
Generous without strings
Today I have been thinking about the word generous and what it means to me. I have probably always been generous, but my reasons have changed over the years. In the past I often gave to get something back. Today I know that even expecting a thank you really isn’t generosity. Curious about the word generous, I looked it up. I found two meanings. The first was “free in giving or sharing”. The second was “high minded, noble”. There it is right there- the difference is the word free. If you are offering anything with strings of any kind it is not being generous. This train of thought reminded me of an excerpt from one of my books and I am going to share it now with no strings- honest! Notice I didn’t even mention the name of the book. If at the last moment of any day you have anything more than you really need you have abundance and according to Mr. Webster you are rich. You entered this life without even a diaper to cover you. There was no label attached to your body with a guarantee of anything you would receive from that day forward. Many stories have been written about the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. It is interesting that the poor of the world are often happier than the rich. Perhaps it is because they know that true happiness comes from within not from without. When a person has little he/she tends to treasure what they have. The rich continually acquire more than they could ever use. I believe it would be better to be poor first and then rich. If it were the other way around it would create an abundance of residents in mental facilities and graveyards. The majority of the rich could not handle the role reversal. The poor tend to value what they have. They use up the last drop of anything before looking for a replacement. They mix and match and substitute missing ingredients. They are magicians who create things from nothing. They see and appreciate the beauty of the world because it is a free gift. Most live simple lives. The rich tend to be part of a throw away society. If it isn’t the right color, size, style or age they toss it and buy something new. Their closets are filled to the brim with things they have forgotten they have. Their schedules are so full they have no time to appreciate anything. They live complicated lives that lead to heart attacks, strokes and ulcers. Then there are the poor who try to imitate the rich and end up even poorer. I have never heard of a rich person wanting to imitate a poor person, although it would not be a bad idea. They might learn that money and possessions do not make you who you are. When you leave earth you will take nothing with you except what you have learned during your stay here. We all have something to give and to learn and perhaps one of those things is learning to be generous without strings.