Generosity Of Spirit

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

How often do we do something, say something, share something–not because we will get something in return, but just because we want to give a gift? If there is one trait we value in other people, it’s generosity of spirit. These are the forgiving types. They really truly listen to you, even when you’re telling the same story again. These people emanate kindness. You just want to be around them.

I’ve known a couple people like this. Their goodness just came from some authentic place from within. They have a certain decency. One of these people died this last year from cancer. I didn’t write about him. I just couldn’t. I’ve been too ticked off about it. He was one of the good ones. Sweet-natured, loving and giving. Everyone loved and admired him. I’ve come to believe that the old idea that only the good die young may well be right. (In that case, I can expect to live for a very long time.)

I guess I bring up the whole “generosity of the spirit” thing because it is particularly important during times of economic difficulty to find that generous place–for ourselves. When we live miserly, withholding, stingy lives, we tend to draw that sort of energy into our lives, too. It isn’t about money, either. It is possible to have this spirit with lots of money–Old Ebeneezer Scrooge, right? And it is possible to be generous, charitable, with next to nothing.

It’s something that I’d like more of in myself. I would like to be more genuine and possess the expansive kindness that makes other people feel good about themselves. Too many people and experiences are just difficult and mean, I don’t want to contribute to that world and make another person’s day diminished by my own smallness.

So, in honor of Mark, rather than focus on his passing, I want to focus on what he brought to this world and emulate it. There are too few people like Mark. Maybe he was innately good. I don’t know. But I suspect he had to work to be loving and kind and make choices to be generous like everyone else does. I think he made those choices so often, it became a habit, a way of life, his character. He touched many lives with his generosity of spirit and is proof that good guys do win.