Truly, it is in giving that we receive.
The lexicon defines a generous person as someone showing a readiness to give more of something, especially money, than is strictly necessary or expected.
No wonder then that generous people are endearing characters, what with their big- and open-heartedness. Kindness is a jewel that adorns them and munificence is their tiara.
Perhaps, it is this definition of being generous that makes people despair over how they can never be infallible enough to fall under this category. However, fear not, dear reader, for it is not as difficult as it seems, generosity does not have to be entirely monetary, or even partially so,and it is not tough to practice the art of generosity. Here are a few tips to help you progress towards this much coveted virtue, albeit step by step. And remember always, in all your acts of kindness, a little fragrance always sticks to the hand that gives.
10) Spend your time and resources for a worthy cause
As is the case with most of the people, spending your time, which is a valued commodity, and your human resource, which is the only thing we possess in entirety, for a worthy cause, or a cause that one feels strongly for, is a fruitful pursuit. When you really dedicate yourself even if for a few hours a week, you get to see things from a different perspective. However, when you are expending your energy resources for a pursuit that aims at making a difference, then you will become more sensitive and empathetic towards people and their problems. So, be it social theatre, fundraising or campaign, give it a shot.
Forgiveness, they say, is a divine trait, for it requires spirit and personal courage. After all, anger like acid does more harm to the vessel that contains it rather than the one on which it is
Harbouring a grudge against someone does not make a difference to the person at fault, but it only affects your own mental, psychological, and physical health. So, let go of any animosity or hatred that you may be bearing for another, get behind people’s eyeballs, see their perspective and forgive.
8) Bless your money
In the book “Bring out the magic in your mind” Al Koran writes, “When you send your money out, remember always to bless it. Ask it to bless everybody that it touches, and command it to go out and feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, and command it come back to you a million-fold. Don’t pass over this lightly. I am serious.” Well, that is self-explanatory and pretty-much sums it.
7) Act out of passion
Competition is a pervasive attribute in today’s world. There are a lot of causes competing for your attention, myriads of problems waiting to be addressed, and multiple charities/NGOs working for each of such causes. Here you might need to work out on three aspects. First, find out what motivates you, what is it that moves you to the core of your sole, what cause do you fell most strongly about. Once you are clear with which cause you want to work towards, which distressed group you want to work for the alleviation of, you need to assess the various organizations working towards that particular cause, and then finally single out on the one whose philosophy converges with yours.
6) Don’t discard, donate!
The habit of discarding is too deeply ingrained and embedded in our characters. When we don’t need something any longer, all we can think of it is as rubbish, and without an iota of hesitation or even a moment of thought we just throw it away. It might be a footwear the sole of which can be repaired, a toy which can be mended, a bunch of papers blank on the other side, etc. this is where we need to practice generosity towards environment. As the ancient Persian proverb goes, ‘I wept because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.’ so, the next time you think of discarding anything, think of the beggar on the street, you have better alternatives than throwing it, one of them is to donate. Or make it simple: follow Gandhiji’s Talisman: “I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?”
5) Start small
Becoming generous is a tough task, you cannot change the fundamental person that you are in a matter of hours, minutes, or for that matter days. Hence, for your induction in the category of generous people, you do not need to surrender all your wealth to a charitable trust, nor do you need to forsake all the comforts of your life. You can always start small. Remember that quote, “Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,make our earth an Eden, like the heaven above.”
4) Be thankful
It might seem trivial how being thankful for all that we have, or are blessed and bestowed with will make a difference in the magnitude of our generosity, or munificence, or kindness. Embrace gratitude and fell blessed for whatever little you possess. Count your blessings each day. When you fell content with your own status quo, serving others without ulterior motives becomes easier manifold. This should not only be your stragtegy to inculcate generosity, but this policy of living life should form an integral part of your life.
3) Be kind to a stranger
While being kind to someone who is your acquaintance or friend or colleague is not so much difficult, not to mention the self-serving motive underlying such generosity, true generosity comes from serving strangers. Help an old or blind person cross the road, rescue a damsel-in-distress, save someone from the trouble they are landed in. this is not to say that you go around looking for strangers in need and land yourself in greater trouble and need, that would be quite preposterous.
The best gift you can give someone is that of your time. You can spend some time with people in need, it can be any random orphanage or a rural area visit or a visit to shelter for the homeless, and it can prove to be an eye-opening and life-changing experience. It can change your perspective once and for all. By spending time with such people, learning about their problems, knowing how they relentlessly strive everyday for existence, sans any comforts or luxuries, your tensions and worries will immediately appear frivolous.
1) Simple living, high thinking
There’s no gainsaying that the ‘simple living, high thinking’ philosophy has been much revered in Indian culture, and propagated and practiced by such great men as Gandhiji. With the materialistic lives and objects taking precedence over social accomplishments, it becomes all the more harder to lead a simple life. However, one can always rid himself/ herself of the intricate web of consumerist and materialist attitudes and try to simplify, rather than complicate. When you simplify, you are nearer to your soul, and that is when that is so, you come out with your best virtues. Self-aggrandizement, self-serving and selfish motives cannot stand in front of selflessness. A minimalist life can indeed be a blessing in itself, what with less to own, less to worry about and more noble deeds to dedicate yourself to.