Do people think you are a selfish jerk?
Generous is a word we use to describe people who have positively impacted our lives. Generosity can include money and gifts but it also includes acts of kindness and compassion. Whether you are receiving the benefits of giving or receiving generosity, it is a character trait that most will say is a good one. Anyone can be generous. Generosity is not reserved only for the wealthy and prosperous.
Some may use the term generous to describe acts that they feel gratitude toward. However, if we look closer, the act may not be generous. For example, an employee might describe how generous their employer is with their salary. While having gratitude is a healthy attribute that I highly encourage, the employer may not have been motivated by generosity. Instead, they may have been driven by the position's value in the market place and a desire to be equitable. Only the giver can know their intent.
Generosity is not complicated. It is simply doing good and sharing with others from a heart of kindness.
So...how can we cultivate a posture of generosity?
We can practice acts of generosity. These acts can be material generosity but they do not have to be. Generous acts can include giving our time, resources, talents, a listening ear, a kind word or other actions to meet a need. For example, volunteering, writing an email to encourage a colleague, introducing someone to your network, writing a recommendation for an individual or business.
Don't hold what you have too tightly, whether money or status. It can be here today and gone tomorrow. However, being generous to someone can last a lifetime.
Give without expecting anything in return. Generosity is always returned but it may not come from the person or manner you expect.
Choose generosity as a lifestyle where you share your wealth with others expecting nothing in return. Keep in mind, wealth is more than money. It includes, time, talents, resources, and more.
When making business decisions, consider those in the less prominent positions of the organization. Whether you have 1M employees, 1K or 1 employee, treat them with empathy and compassion vs as a commodity.
Give more than you are asked to give.
Find a cause that you feel passionate about and give freely to it. Jump in where you can with money, time, skills.
Start cultivating a lifestyle of generosity now. Generosity is not something that comes later after you accumulate more wealth. It's something to live out wherever you are in life today.
How generous are you? How are you generous?