True generosity that comes from the heart is to practice the act of giving just for the sheer fact of being happy doing it — without expecting anything in return.
Giving comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes — a gift, a smile, a helping hand, good advice. All of them are enjoyed twice — first by the giver who enjoys the pleasure of giving, then by the receiver who receives such kindness.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”Winston Churchill
Most people associate generosity and “giving” with money and other material things. This is why some people who are not financially well-off think they have nothing to give. However, even those who don’t have much still have something to give. Often, they are the ones who actually give more.
Of course, if you share what little you have for yourself, you end up sharing something which is more of value to you. And this makes the act of giving more like an act of sacrifice — because you are not just giving what is spare, but are actually sacrificing something that you might also be in need of.
The good news is, generosity is not only limited to material things that can be acquired with money. As a matter of fact, it is not money or things that most people need. Often, what people really need are the things that are immaterial — like simple acts of kindness. After all, the most precious things in life are those that are priceless.
Simple Acts of Kindness Are Priceless.
What exactly do you have to give?
Everyone has something of value to be shared with others — and it doesn’t need to be money or belongings. It could be as simple as a kind word, a genuine smile, or an honest compliment. These are simple acts of kindness that can brighten up someone’s day.
Instead of giving gifts, you can show your appreciation to your friends and loved ones by doing small favors for them. You can share your skills and knowledge by helping a friend learn something that you already know. You can give a helping hand to someone who needs it. You can give your time by supporting a friend during tough times, or lend a listening ear when somebody needs someone to talk to.
There are limitless options to do simple acts of kindness every day — and you will enjoy the happiness and satisfaction that only comes from being able to give.
Of course, some people may not notice it, and others will not give you credit for it. But who cares, right? After all, true generosity is egoless. One can only attain true happiness from being generous when one is not self-attached to how he/she is perceived by others. The true art of giving from the heart is to give without counting the cost and without expecting anything in return — because to revel in the pleasure of giving is already more than enough.
Things to Remember When Giving
- Give and forget. This means you do not need to remember the things and favors you give to others because that is totally unnecessary. Unless, of course, if you want to remind them of your “generosity” when the time comes that you will be “needing something from them”. In that case, you are not giving from the heart. You are only being generous because you think you can benefit from it in the future.
“If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business, not kindness.”
- Don’t give for status symbols. Giving without ego means your generosity is not for show-off purposes. You don’t go buying the most expensive gifts even though you know you cannot afford them just because you want to create a fabricated image of yourself. This is not generosity — this is showbiz.
- Don’t give to compete. Some people love the idea of winning that they don’t want to be left out when it comes to being generous. They tend to match — or exceed — the generosity of others just for the sheer enjoyment of “being more”, not of giving more. This is not being generous — this is being competitive.
- Be generous to yourself first. You cannot give what you do not have. How can one be generous to others if one doesn’t know how to be generous to one’s self? Do not forget yourself completely in the process of sharing kindness, giving your time, caring for others — give love and importance to yourself first because this is the only way you can give love and importance to others too.
Life teaches us that generosity is a natural necessity. We cannot help the need to give as well as we cannot live without the support of everything that we receive.
To be truly and naturally generous, we need not fear not having enough. We don’t need to worry about getting hurt or losing out, because the act of giving has no expectations or strings attached. We won’t worry about looking like a fool. After all, the irony of life is when we give without any thought or desire to receive something in return, our returns come in proportions that can be truly limitless.