8 Week Challenge: Submission: Generosity is its Own Reward

I received a second contribution to the 8 Week Challenge today. This post does not come from a blogger, but in fact was contributed by my Mother. I hope you enjoy her thoughts on Generosity.

Original Artwork by Valerie Fulford

When I was young I eagerly looked to my Father for guidance. He was rarely available to me because he was like most men of his era, trying to support his family and better himself. Every thing that came out of his mouth had great weight for me. I remember him telling me that if you do something good for someone that the favour will be returned to you even if it comes not from who you helped but from someone else. In other words reciprocal altruism or more simply “what goes around comes around”. I have a plethora of idioms and examples of good common sense to draw from that come from all stages in my life but the best example I can give happened when I was a youngster, maybe 9 or 10 years old. I have always been soft-hearted, a Pollyanna, my Mother cynically would note when she was annoyed with my chipperness. My Mother suffered from depression so having a child with such a lively nature was wearing on her. I was also very religious, something I got from joining an after school bible class my friends had joined. Day School Gospel League. Being religious was an anomaly in my family of agnostics/atheists that they tolerated because it got me out of the house, got me a week of summer camp for free and kept me out of their hair after school.

Original Artwork by Valerie Fulford

As I was saying, I was 9 or 10 years old and was at the Saturday afternoon matinee with my friends in centertown. I had been given spending money by my Grandmother and was standing at the candy counter during intermission waiting to choose my treat. The smaller child in front of me was short of money for their chosen candy so I stepped forward and offered a nickel. I was always impulsive and the gesture was instantly accepted which left me short for my own treat when I got to the front of the line. Empty handed I walked back to my seat. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t angry either. I just accepted the inevitable and made a note to self to practice my math. Whilst watching the film for some reason I reached down on the floor searching for I don’t remember what and surfaced with a quarter! If ever there was a lesson in generosity being its own reward there it was, concrete evidence that being generous was the right thing to do.

Original Artwork by Valerie Fulford

As you can see it reinforced my belief system that was already in place. I am not a so called religious person anymore, if I ascribe to a belief system it would be Buddhism and I have always felt an obligation to share and be generous. I have never felt that anything but good would come of it, I give even when I have nothing in the bank to give, I use my credit card. Help has always showed up for me just before I hit bottom. I have always known that I am one of the Lucky Ones and it is my duty to share with those who aren’t Lucky. Luck, there is a whole other topic. “There but by the Grace of God go I”.

Generosity, it is the right thing to do and I have the proof.