choosing generosity

Generosity is a characteristic I’ve always been drawn to and marveled at in others.

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I don’t consider myself selfish, but I also don’t think I’m instinctively generous. Meaning: it’s not something that comes naturally to me without hesitation, but it’s a trait I want to explore and embrace. Any time I witness someone being truly generous, particularly in a spontaneous way, it  takes my breath away. That people can be that good.

So. My New Year’s resolution this year was…

…to give money to every person, cause and collection that asked. This includes strangers panhandling, friends fundraising for different efforts and donation jars in check-out lines (among other things). I decided that even if I can only give a dollar at a time, I’m going to say ‘yes’ to all of these offers, at least for the year.

It’s been so fulfilling.

I no longer divert my eyes when I’m stopped at an intersection and see people asking for money. I look forward to helping someone; reaffirming that people are intrinsically good. That no matter what, someone cares.

And it feels so good to give money to friends running races and collecting money for different organizations they feel passionately about. To have another person validate your commitments is inspiring.

I’m not spending a ton of money doing this. It’s $1 to $20 at a time, which is (sadly – but honestly) the amount I spend on trivial things everyday.

There’s no way to determine if any of the people I’m supporting truly need the money. But who’s to say? My determination is, if they have made the decision to ask me for it, then they need it. More than I do.

I love the idea that even on a very, very small scale, I’m bringing some happiness to different people this way. Being the change. Sharing positivity, even if it’s fleeting.


9 thoughts on “choosing generosity

  1. Uhmmmmm, can I have $10?
    Love this piece. The mark of a generous man is not found in how much money he gives or how wide he spreads it, although, there is certainly joy to be gained in doing it as you have found. Generosity is measured in the amount of love, respect, friendship and decency he distributes to his fellowman. The author has shared those assets in abundance.

  2. This is great, what a good idea for a resolution. Awhile ago I made a rule for myself that every time I go through a fast food drive thru, I’d buy the meal of the person behind me. It has been SO satisfying!!! I recommend giving it a try, it gets the adrenaline going when you look in your rear view mirror and see their perplexed look, then big smile. Then you speed away quick haha!

    Thanks for the reminder to do good for others!!

  3. I love this! Especially as a person who asked for a donation 🙂 but seriously what a great thing – to look forward to helping people. I need to be better about helping the homeless. I keep dog food in my car should I see a homeless person with a dog, but I should care about helping the person as much as I do the dog!

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