Debunking Myths about Generosity
Are you concerned about the materialism that dominates our society?
Do you often feel that you are fighting a a losing battle in a culture that promotes the “gimmes”?
Developing an attitude of generosity is something that can be started early in small ways and then developed into bigger projects as the child grows. Even young children can learn to give food, toys or clothing to those in need.
There are three common myths about generosity that often interfere with practicing generosity. Let’s debunk these myths:
- Generosity should be spontaneous – While it is awesome when we create spontaneous and random acts of kindness and generosity, it is more important that a spirit of generosity be built into the fabric of our daily lives. Think of generosity as an important aspect of one’s character rather than something to be practiced spontaneously or at certain times during the year. Once the habit is established it is even more likely to to appear spontaneously.
- Generosity is determined by your financial status – Everyone can give something, no matter their age, financial circumstances or lifestyle. Giving does not have to be something material but can be time, service or a thoughtful word.
- Generosity only benefits the receiver – The benefits of being generous enrich the lives of not only the receiver but the giver as well. In fact, many times the receiver feels that they benefit more than the person who received. This is one reason why children who are usually on the receiving end need to practice generosity in order to learn the benefits.
Giving the Gift of Service
The best and most life changing gift for children and adults is service that involves giving of more than excess. It may involve giving time in service. For instance, your family might spend a Saturday morning in a soup kitchen for the homeless, or volunteer in a nursing home to visit with residents who have no family. It’s cleaning up a park or walking dogs at an animal shelter.
Service that moves us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to make a difference in the world develops children and ultimately adults, of compassion and character.