Generosity and gratitude go hand in hand. What if you aren’t naturally inclined towards being generous, or just don’t think about it? Find out how to cultivate this essential trait in your life.
Last month I was personally motivated and inspired by an article on LifeHacker about generosity. Generosity is one of those things in life that can be had by anyone, anywhere, regardless of economic status, culture, race or any other type of diversification.
Generosity is a state of mind. -John Hickey
The quote in this article says it all. I have thought about it quite a bit since then and wondered how does a person create this ‘state of mind’ within themselves? What if you were not brought up in a generous home and don’t give much thought to it naturally?
I was blessed to have been taught cultivation of generosity and service for others from the time I was young, so my concern is centered on how to impart those same feelings to my children.
-Attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most valuable traits I believe all human beings can and should strive to possess. Gratitude can relieve us of envy, greed, hatred, sorrow and almost any other negative emotion if we let it. It helps us create feelings of abundance and a willingness to share what we have, whether we have a lot, or a little. Gratitude is essential in cultivating generosity within yourself.
-Recognizing need. It can be fairly easy to focus on our own lives, what we want from day to day, and not pay attention to others needs. It is also an easy way out to make excuses as to why someone has gotten themselves into a situation and doesn’t deserve help. These justifications and judgments don’t help anyone and they certainly don’t cultivate a generous spirit.
-Imparting of yourself. Generosity can come in the form of service, kind words, monetary donations, time, or any other form of giving that fills a need. It can be an act of great sacrifice, or one that doesn’t require much from yourself, but still benefits others. The key is to be generous, with underlying gratitude for what you have personally received.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy
The ultimate way to cultivate generosity in ourselves towards others is to be grateful for what we already have.