What Does Generosity Mean?


What does generosity mean?

Usually on this blog I like to give advice or tell a story.

But today I want to ask a question.

What does generosity mean? More specifically: What does it mean to be generous?

See, yesterday I was speaking with a friend of mine, a deeply religious man, who said that the only giving that counts is when you give without someone asking for your help, and without expecting anything back.

Do you agree with that?

What if you spend most of your time helping others but you DO expect them to help you, if and when they can, in your time of need?

What if you generally don’t volunteer your time, but whenever someone asks you for help, you give it without blinking?

Are you a generous person or not?

Or let’s go one step further and take my religious friend. He says that true giving is done without wanting something back, right?

But doesn’t he get personal satisfaction and contentment back?

And what’s wrong with that? It’s win-win.

And if giving caused him a great deal of personal pain for some reason, would he feel the same way about it? (I know that doesn’t make much sense; it’s a hypothetical!)

Personally, I agree that the “highest form” of generosity is to give without being asked, and without expecting anything back.

But I think the world would be a LOT better off if more people at least strived for “partial credit.”

Do we make too much of “selflessness” when preaching karma or some other “rewards system” might be more effective in actually making people “generous”?

Let me know what you think in the comments!