Week 1: Generosity

What is Generosity?

Core Essay on Generosity

Generosity is one of the least understood of the core emotions. There is a feeling in our society that Generosity implies the giving of wealth. The most Generous people, by definition, would have to also be the wealthiest people. But this is not so. Generosity comes from far more than the giving of gifts of wealth. We can give many other gifts as well. There is the gift of time. The gift of compassion. The gift of hope. The gift of support in troubled times. The gift of a story, to help us find perspective.

True Generosity comes from a decision to share. Not just our wealth. But to share all of ourselves. To put ourselves in a position of vulnerability and see that from that place we can only create Love around us. Generosity, in all its forms, creates gratitude. When we open ourselves up to truly sharing our Love, we begin to see that no story from our past can bring us harm. They can only help us to move forward in Love.

When we live in Generosity we begin to see that possessions are meaningless. It is not what we own that defines us, but what we share. We see that our passions are what allow us to contribute most Generously to society. We see that Love is spread through giving. We see that Life is meant to be Shared with those around us. There is a time for quiet introspection, a time to receive with sincere gratitude and a time to give unconditionally to those in need. In true Generosity we begin to see that Love is in the simple acts.

This Weeks Challenge

Generosity, by definition, is simply the liberal and unselfish sharing of excesses. On the surface, it would appear that this portion of the challenge is a no brainer; gather some of your old stuff or throw some cash in an envelope and proceed to the closest charitable organization. Of course you can do that, and it would be appreciated, but the whole point of this challenge is to make you think, and learn to incorporate Generosity into your daily life. I don’t know about you, but if I relied simply on giving away material possessions and money as my only method of Generosity, then I wouldn’t be able to be generous for very long. There are so many other ways to be Generous, many of which you are probably already doing on a daily basis. The purpose of this challenge is to get you to recognize more clearly the ways in which you are already being Generous, and to expand that Generosity until it becomes habit.

Send Entries to awards@alternate-economy.com

The following challenge is split into three categories. Please complete each category and send an email with an essay describing how your week of Living in Generosity has changed you. This essay can be anywhere from 500 to 1000 words and will become a post on this blog.

Situational Generosity

Situational Generosity comes from random acts of kindness, and smaller acts that sometimes go unnoticed. They are the most important part of generosity. Whether we are helping a senior citizen with her grocery bags, or buying a coffee for a homeless veteran, these small acts of Generosity help spread Love in a most profound way. For this week please try to complete one act of Situational Generosity per day and then write to us about it. Here are some examples, but feel free to be creative.

Situational Generosity
– Give up your seat to someone who looks tired (anyone, not just the elderly)
– Help someone carrying something heavy
– Give a stranger a sincere and thoughtful compliment
– Make eye contact and smile at everyone you see for one full day
– Join in with someone as they do their chores, either at work or at home
– Let someone else have the last cookie
– Offer a ride to someone you know doesn’t drive

Overt Generosity

Overt Generosity is the more obvious type, that is usually praised in the media as just plain “Generosity”. These acts are important as well and we would Love to see you perform one such Overtly Generous act and write about it in your submission.

Overt Generosity
– Make a donation to a charity
– Give to the food bank
– Give blood
– Bake a treat for the whole office and share it with your coworkers
– Offer to babysit a Loved one’s child so they can have a night to themselves
– Go to your local animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs
– Plant a few vegetables to share with your neighbours

True Sharing

The final step to Living in Love and incorporating Generosity into your daily routine is acknowledging our acts of True Sharing. True Sharing is giving not only of our excess, but giving also of the things we have only a limited quantity of. Do not forget experience. True Sharing is about communication more than anything and our moments of shared stories can be the most Generous of all. As the final portion of this weeks challenge please include one act of True Sharing that you engaged in this week in your submission.

True Sharing
– Lend an ear to someone who needs it, then offer Loving advice
– Write a Letter to the Editor sharing your path towards Living in Love
– Spend your lunch hour sharing a sandwich and an ear with a homeless person
– Tell your Lover about a story that you have always been afraid to tell them
– Compose a song or poem describing your transformations through suffering and awareness
– Organize an evening with your neighbours to discuss Love and help build a sense of trust in the neighbourhood
– Write a letter to someone you have lost touch with from your past to tell them why you Love them and how they helped you to grow

Send Entries to awards@alternate-economy.com

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