The Spirit of Generosity

one hand with a soup bowl, another hand ladling soup referencing the power of generosity Did you know that generosity is an attitude? a spirit? I didn’t… at least, not until several years ago. I  thought a generous person was one who gave things away, easily. Ergo, I thought you had to have something concrete  to give away, be it money, food, clothes, concert tickets or whatever.

Just like the spirit of appreciation, generosity is an expression of love and you don’t have to be rich to be generous. In fact, that spirit of generosity will make you rich… rich in friends, in happiness, in love and quite possibly, even in material things. You perpetuate your own blossoming, while nurturing the light in others.

Somebody may be all excited and charged up over some new discovery they’ve made. It’s old news to you, ho-hum, but they’ve just figured it out. What do you do? I know what I USED to do. I used to jump in, before they could finish their story, and let it be known that “oh ya, I KNOW that and more… blah de blah!” How to rain on somebody’s parade! I knew I was really growing up when I could just listen to them enthuse and keep my big mouth shut. That is generosity.

The Spirit of Generosity – How to Get Rich!

It’s not always easy to be generous… to forgive the rude person who jumped the line, to smile and relax when somebody pronounces a word wrong or uses it in the wrong context, to be patient with somebody who is not. There are people who are chronically late. We can be good natured about it. Being generous of spirit does not mean we lamely accept behaviours that are offensive to us. But there are times when we can support the best in somebody and gently overlook the faux pas. Besides, would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?  Being generous is being kind and it all comes back to love. We all have plenty of that to give away.

Long ago and far away, I worked in a kitchen with Kathleen. One day, somebody commented to me on how generous Kathleen was. I was puzzled. They clarified for me “generous in spirit.” That was a new one, so I kept an eye on this generous woman. And I learned. Thank you Kathleen. You never knew, did you?


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  1. Nancy,
    Thank you so much for your insightful articles. I appreciated your comment “generosity is an act of love” and having just partaken of your “generous spirit” I can attest to the fact that you “walk your talk” and these articles of yours emerge from a most generous heart.

  2. Nancy, I especially appreciate your concrete examples of generosity of the spirit. As much as I enjoy receiving a material gift, money, clothes, etc. I am convinced that the most impact on the world comes from generosity of spirit. Yesterday I was teaching art at a festival. My student was a 10 year old child of color. She was deeply unhappy, never smiled. She tried to paint but soon gave up. “I can’t do it.” I gently told her, “you are giving up too soon.” She actually tried 3 times, long after her siblings moved on. I finally gave her a blank piece of paper and hot pink and bright blue paints. She made a lovely little painting, signed it and proudly gave it to me as a gift. She never smiled but her face lightened. At least for now, art is a victory for her.

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