Thursday, March 31, 2011

Generosity of Spirit

I have days when I have no idea what I am going to post. It doesn’t concern me though, because if I don’t have anything to say then that’s fine (not that I'm often without something to say). Strangely though, on most of these days I have random words or phrases which just pop into my head. They don’t necessarily mean anything on their own but they come about through things I read or things that happen in my everyday life.

Today the words that popped into my head were generosity of spirit. It started on my drive to work this morning. I spend anywhere from 25 – 40 mins on the drive each morning and then again in the afternoon. Its a little game I play to amuse myself on the drive to work whereby I let other people into the traffic queue. (It’s amazing how many people don’t actually let others in)

Most people are so focussed on getting to work that they’re oblivious to others around them, so I enjoy putting a smile on people’s faces. More often than not the traffic is crawling along anyway and it’s not going to make much difference to my progress. Most people are grateful and wave and smile so it starts my day off in a good way.

The best definition I found was this one from Yahoo ‘Generosity of spirit, in contrast to just generosity, means to give intangible things, such as time, good wishes, the benefit of the doubt, kindness, credit for ideas, etc.’.

This got me thinking about how many different ways we can be generous of spirit, these are my favourites:

1) We can share a smile; with a stranger, with a loved one or even with a next door neighbour or work colleague.

2) Laugh out loud with someone; sharing laughter is one of the best ways to release stress and make another person feel good.

3) Be generous with your words; praise someone’s hard work, say thank you, wish someone a good day, tell someone you care.

4) Take the time to really listen to someone; to understand their point of view, or allow them to share their pain, their anger or even their successes.

5) Help another in need; not for any other reason except you can.

We all know people who’re generous of spirit, people who make us feel good about ourselves, who put a smile on our faces or who do something for another person just because they can. We should all practice being generous of spirit, it costs nothing and the rewards are great. It all comes back to karma, what goes around, comes around. Give and you shall receive.

What’s the best example of generosity of spirit you’ve seen this week?

~ To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue. They are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness. ~ Confucius

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