Generosity - It is a state of the heart not the bank account
How many times have you heard yourself say ‘I wish I had more money than I would help that person, support that charity?’ Surely if I had more than I would be happy to give more, wouldn't I?
I have worked in the financial planning industry for the last 12 years and during that time I have had the privilege of working with people from all walks of life: from the widow who is scraping to get through to the very successful businessman who earns more in a year than others will see in a lifetime. And one thing that has struck me is that there is no correlation between the amount of money a person has and the amount of generosity shown by the person. In fact, the only correlation that I can find is actually between generosity and happiness; the more generous the person is with their money the more joy the person experiences in life.
In 1996, I got the opportunity to visit a refugee camp in Russia. Now I was expecting to see people overwhelmed by their circumstances and loss but what I actually experienced brought me to tears. These people who had lost everything including many loved ones, sat with us and shared the little food they had. We watched as kids swapped their filthy clothes, to start a new day. Their way of getting “changed” each morning. But in the midst of this incredible loss and poverty, these children drew us pictures and gave us hair bands, all they had to give. The spirit of generosity was so strong and these gorgeous selfless people were happy to give the little they had, and in turn they were the most beautiful, joy filled people I have ever met.
Now I know that being generous may not come easily to you, it doesn’t to me. There are some people who are just naturally generous, almost to a fault. These are the people who will give you their favourite earrings just because you mentioned you liked them. But if you are like me and not one of these naturally generous people then it is going to take a decision and something you will need to practice. Generosity is like a muscle, the more you use it the easier it gets until like exercise you come to enjoy it for the great feeling it gives you.
To use financial planner speak
GENEROSITY = > HAPPINESS
It says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that God loves a cheerful giver. The story of the widow’s mite is in the Bible to show us that it is not the size of the gift that matters but the heart behind the giving. So how do you practice generosity? Commit to giving something away each day. Like the widow’s mite, it doesn’t have to be big, it’s the small acts done consistently that form a habit. Even if it is paying for someone’s coffee or letting someone in while you are driving to work. These small simple acts of generosity on a regular basis help you to build the muscle of generosity in your life and soon it will become second nature to you. You will become a naturally generous person.
So, start now, let it become who you are not just what you do. Live a life of generosity today.
About Kerry Fleming
Kerry is a loyal, inspiring and faithful friend, leader and business woman. She has worked in the financial planning industry for over 12 years now and is on team at C3 Avalon. In her spare time she loves making delicious scented candles.