Thursday, December 27, 2012

Generosity .

It's no secret that some people in more life are just more blessed. Whether it's through luck, perseverance, inheritance, or hard work, there will always be someone better off than you. On the other end of the spectrum there will always be someone worse off too. It's important to remember both: Aspire to reach towards those who are better off, and remember and be thankful for those that are worse off. The cliché saying "could be worse" could apply.

And yet, there's something interesting I've noticed. I would say that most times, those who are worse off are actually much more generous -- with their time, with their money, with their whole being. I know a few of those people, and some of them are even in my family. There's no reason to name names here, as I'm sure they know who they are and (I hope) realize the good of their ways, but every holiday, whether it's my birthday, Christmas, whatever, they are incredibly generous. I am thankful for this, but probably not as much as I should be.

I too, often find myself in the financial rut that so many run into at some point, and yet when I do get money, I think it does make me more generous. Yes, I worry about being able to pay the bills. And I hate borrowing from my parents (who thankfully don't charge interest like the bank). And I worry about gas. And I worry about having a little on the side to have some fun in college. And I worry about not really having anything saved up for grad school, or even enough to get me on my feet afterward. And when it comes down to it, it always feels like I'm buried in expenses and don't really have any income. Unfortunately, it will only get worse.

So why is it that so many who are down on their luck financially always so willing to give away the little they have? Maybe it's something rooted deep within them. Or perhaps it's more complex -- that they are simply not used to having extra money lying around as a luxury, and when it does come their way, they are just more inclined to spread it around. I think that the rich and privileged have often worked so hard and poured themselves into their work so much to achieve their wealth that they are terrified of losing it. I think that if I were in their position, I would be too. But this can be awful too. Some are so worried about losing their wealth that they often forget how much of a difference it can make: in happiness, in one person's daily life, in the joy of a child. Those little pieces of worthless paper can change a person's life.

And I'd like to think that if I ever become part of "the 1%" that I would be generous, always spread it around, pay it forward and pass it on. But who am I kidding; I'd probably be just like everyone else. But maybe, just maybe, there are some brave souls who will be there to pave the way. And in some ways, there already are. And it is those people who are the true teachers of generosity.

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