How To Be Generous

As you move up in life, there will be more opportunities for you to be generous. What do you do with this new power…

From sharing chocolates to helping people find their paths – the influence you will have on others will be monumental. And before you jump on the pride train, let me spill the beans – the true meaning of generosity.

In this day and age, ideas move faster than ever. Meanings are fluid and open to interpretation. The word that meant something yesterday means totally different thing today. Amidst all of these, there is only one pure meaning of being generous.

And I would like you to align with its soulful idea…

The Vanilla

90 percent of the people love chocolate flavor and the remaining 10 percent are lying. I read this quote in one of the chocolate franchise. True it is – chocolate is the most loved flavor and every kid or adult wants it.

But when you are given the choice to be generous, you hand out the vanilla to others. Some share a lot of vanilla and become proud of themselves. But they hold their chocolate flavor dear to their heart. It doesn’t get shared with anyone. Of course, it is their precious thing and no one else will get it.

You see this thing often when relatives come in. There are 2 kinds of biscuits being bought – one with the cream and the fancy one for your family’s consumption. And the other local one to serve the relatives.

It happens with our donation.

You buy the fancy clothes for yourself. And give out the old, worn out clothes to the poor. Of course, the act is good. But you are really giving out vanilla to others and holding the chocolate for yourself.

Role Reversal

What if you reverse the role – how will you feel when you know the items you receive are often the discarded one. Of course, you will be grateful that you got something in the first place. But as a human, you will keep longing for the nice things. Which people often keep it to themselves.

So, how do you make sure that the generosity isn’t becoming a semi-heart thing? You do it by sharing the best of the stuff.

The chocolate flavor, the best car and the Barbie doll – whatever is best according to you. All of these should be shared first. Not all of it but at least something. Because when you do this – you are truly being generous.

I work in a cubicle. And when there is someone’s birthday chocolates are received by everyone. I keep my chocolates for eating later in the day.

My friends – to tease me pick up my chocolates and say they will eat it. As normal people they would play along – and hope that they get the chocolate back. Because you want to eat the chocolate too.

But I smile. I say – you can’t tease me with taking my chocolates because it gives me a sense of generosity. If you eat the chocolate, I feel happy. You can’t steal from me if I am willing to give it away.

The Happiness

I frequently travel by bus. And the window side is the best seat. The air is breezy, you can see outside vehicles easily and it feels royal.

So when you sit in the aisle, you often wait for the person at the window side to vacate at her stop. Because you will shift your position to the window seat asap.

I did this for a long time. And then I decided what if I will shift myself to window seat only when no one else is standing. So whenever the person at window side stands up, I offer the window seat to another person who is standing. And I keep seated at the aisle seat.

Normally the journey on a bus for me is 30 minutes. And that same bus comes from a 2-hour journey starting point. Some people have been standing for more than 1 hour – it happens.

And when I hoard the bus, sometimes I get the seat first. Because the rule is whoever is beside the seat will get the seat. And you don’t ask the passenger – you assume whether that girl is going to get down and stand accordingly.

It happened that while I was seated, I saw a man standing in pain from his face. And he was hesitantly looking for a seat to rest. I was about to give my seat but the window seat beside me got vacated so I offered him to sit down.

A conversation struck up. And he opened – how he is a salesperson and his job requires constant moving from one place to another. So most of the job is him standing, walking and talking while standing with customers. So the bus is the only place where he might get a chance to sit down. He felt relieved and happy because it is rare that he gets the window seat. I reflected back – and sure enough, he needed those fresh air more than I ever could.

The smile on his face and the moment for me was worth it.

Paying Forward

Doing this makes me happy. Because that person is happy. And maybe she will do the same next time. I do sit at the window seat from time to time. But I also offer it to others more often. Generosity fueled my happiness. And it, in turn, made me more generous.

The cycle is vicious and amazing. I hope you choose pure generosity.