Generosity is a spiritual practice which is common to most traditions, and involves individuals giving value or assistance of some kind to other people and organisations. Examples include the obvious monetary forms of generosity, such as tithing to a church or temple, as well as less obvious forms, such as setting up soup kitchens and shelters for the homeless.
This practice of generosity benefits the recipients in several ways. First, and perhaps most importantly, it demonstrates to an individual recipient that he or she is not alone, but that there are individuals who care enough to offer their tangible support. If the recipient is an organisation then the act of generosity demonstrates that someone values the cause being championed by that organisation.
Recipients also benefit directly from the support that is given, be it financial, practical, emotional or spiritual. The homeless person who receives a coin or two will benefit from the hot drink that the gift will help to purchase. The children in Africa who are supported by aid organisations will benefit from fresh drinking water which may otherwise by impossible to come by. The old person who is visited by their neighbour in the depths of winter will benefit both from their company and from any practical help which the neighbour provides.
The benefits to the recipients of generosity are quite apparent, but what about the benefits to the practitioners of generosity? There are, in fact, just as many, and the main ones are as follows:
– Generosity helps the practitioner to be more mindful of their interconnectedness with the world at large, and to play an active part in making the world a better and friendlier place.
– Generosity helps the practitioner to express their own gratitude to the universe by giving someone else an opportunity to experience the same.
– Generosity helps the practitioner to use their resources in a more thoughtful, positive and altruistic manner.
– Generosity simply feels good.
Generosity is a very versatile practice that every spiritual Seeker should consider adopting. If you have the financial means to do so, you can give money both to organisations you support and to individuals who you know to be in genuine need. However, generosity is not simply about money. You can also give your time, your talents, your labour, items that you no longer need, and anything else that would be of value and use to others.
The urge to exercise generosity is one that is quite natural and instinctive, so all you have to do to practice it effectively is be open to opportunities to give, and allow your intuition to guide you as to how and when you should do so.
Whilst we are on this topic, if you find this website to be of any use or benefit to you, please consider exercising your generosity right now by sharing links to your favourite posts on social networks or directly with other people who might also benefit. Sharing buttons are provided at the foot of each post for this purpose, and your help in bringing Spirituality for Seekers to a larger audience would be greatly appreciated.
Finally, this is the last Spirituality for Seekers post of 2017, so I would like to wish all of you a joyous and peaceful holiday season, and a Happy New Year. If you have not already done so, please subscribe on the right of this page so that you can receive automated notifications by email as soon as future posts are published.