Day 40: The Spirit of Generosity

I just watched the movie “The Same Kind of Different as Me.” Have you seen it?  Great movie.  It is the tale of a woman whose generosity of spirit touches the lives of all around her, including her husband and two children, the homeless mission she and her family serves, and in particular, a homeless man she and her husband befriend.

As it happens, I have been thinking about generosity a lot lately.   Some call it “tithing,” some call it “being of service.” There are infinite ways to be generous, but to me, basically it means to extend your spirit out to others in ways that serve them (and, incidentally, serves you).  Generosity is the act of giving, and it inevitably has a win-win component to it.

Tony Robbins said, “The spirit of living is giving.” That quote left a big impression on me.  Robbins himself left a big impression on me, not only for the magnitude of his helpful materials (thus far I’ve only read his books and seen a documentary), but also for the magnitude of his generosity.  His book “Money: Master the Game” immediately got my attention in the bookstore when I read on the book jacket that he was giving all the proceeds to Feeding America.  I was incredibly moved by this, and it was one of the reasons the book was so powerful for me.

As a child, I read a story by Roald Dahl called “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.” As I recall, this is a story of a man who travels to distant lands, learns certain occult arts that allow him to see through objects, and grows rich by playing cards at casinos.  At the end of the tale,  in an almost mad fit of generosity, he throws all his money out the window for other people to grab and rejoice in.  What a glorious and rebellious act of generosity! (I admit also liked how he learned to see through things, and as a child, at least briefly, I attempted to conjure up that skill myself).

Another book I loved as a child was “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” by Frank Baum. This glorious “biography” of Santa Claus was a wonderful glimpse into the world of a truly remarkable figure.   We are all familiar with Santa Claus, yet when you really examine the Kris Kringle story, what you have is a tale of great generosity, where a divine spirit of mirth visits all the children of the world each year to bless them with gifts.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly can use a constant reminder to give.  There is a great world out there full of people who stand to benefit from our gifts, and from our presence in their lives.  I have heard it said that people get more joy out of being generous to others than being generous to themselves (of course, it has also been said that giving to others in a true spirit of generosity is giving to yourself).  Even our professional work is a form of generosity, a way to get out of our own heads and be about serving others.

In truth, my hope is that this blog, in its own small way, can make a difference for others.  Even this 365 Day Blogging Project, self-serving as it is, is not only about and for me.  If all I wanted to do was write some words every day, I could do that in a notebook (and do).  There is a giving component to this blog, as varied and all-over-the-place as it may be.  At the very least, perhaps my example will inspire some others to start their own blogs and express what is inside of them.

If I can accomplish that, or at least to provide some people with some amusement as they follow along my writing journey, then I think I will have given something of value.

Because giving, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about.

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