In this article, we want to discuss the three most common ways to show generosity to others and give you some examples and suggestions. Before that, however, we’d like to make some things clear. Firstly, we’d like to contrast different definitions and approaches to the word ‘generous’. After that, we need to emphasize how important it is for you to know the reason behind your desire to be generous. You’ll need to ask yourself “Why is this important and for whom? Is it crucial for me or my community?” A self-reflection is always a step in the right direction. The goal of all of this is to help you achieve a generous mindset. Only after you’ve set everything on the right track you can choose some of the different ways to show generosity.
Before you start the journey, think about a these two things:
- Being generous means you’ll expect nothing in return. Generosity is not selfish and doesn’t require any reasons for actions. For example, you can’t be generous only to impress other people. If you’re selfless in your tendency to become more generous, it’s more likely you’ll succeed.
- Share your intentions of becoming more generous with your friends and family. Maybe they’ll try to follow you and be more generous too.
What is generosity anyway?
Generosity is one of the noblest virtues you can acquire. It involves giving something to others without a hidden agenda. Helping someone in need is the root of this virtue. The liberality of giving and sharing is generosity, no matter what “currency” you’re using: money and possessions, time, care, presence, or something else entirely.
People sometimes refer to generosity as a charity, which means it’s perceived as an act of giving something and expecting nothing in return. Of course, generosity is a broader term, because it implies giving more than you’re “supposed to”. Besides that, charity donations usually go hand-in-hand with societal approval. However, you don’t have to get recognition for your good deeds to be generous. Actually, it’s best you’re not recognized for charitable work. It would just boost your ego and that shouldn’t be the point of being generous in the first place. The public should be informed about charity organizations, but you shouldn’t be the one holding the microphone and “bragging” about charitable accomplishments.
In simple wording, generosity is a selfless act of giving to others. Some people argue that being kind is also an act of generosity. We’d say that kindness and generosity are both desirable virtues and are very similar, so they sometimes overlap. If you give your clothes to someone who needs it, you’re being both generous and kind. Smiling to a stranger is an act of kindness, but volunteering at an animal shelter is being generous (with your time). I think you can see where we are going with this.
You can even be generous with how much kindness you’re willing to offer some person. You must have heard the phrase “He/she is generous with hugs”. A hug is the act of kindness but you’re giving as much of them as you can, so you’re being generous. In the end, it doesn’t matter that much whether you’re generous or kind, as long as you’re trying to be a better person.
Why is generosity so important?
Although generosity is a selfless act beneficial for others, it’s also important for our well-being. Hear us out on this! If you are “being generous” for selfish reasons, you won’t get anything and still be unsatisfied. However, if you are selfless in your acts of generosity, you’ll actually benefit from it. A good feeling of being helpful and needed will improve your self-esteem. The joy you bring to others benefits your mental health. On top of that, you’ll have a real impact on your community and make the world a nicer place. What can be better than this?
Generosity helps you send love into the world. Once you do something good for others, you’ll get a response. People you’ve helped are more likely to follow your steps and do a good deed once they get the chance. Your generosity can cause a butterfly effect, so everyone will try to be more kind and generous.
If you’re not sure why generosity is important, try to visualize a world without it. It’s not very bright, is it? Every charitable action would have a secret agenda. Good deeds would have a condition attached to it. Is that a good deed then? The world would be emptier without generous people that’s for sure.
How to show generosity
Once you decide you want to be more generous, it’s easy to start doing good in the world. Generosity isn’t just about “donating money to charity”, although it can be. No, it’s about the spirit of sharing and the need to make someone’s life better. Once you get that straight, you can start thinking about ways to show generosity. We’ve singled out 3 most common (and most effective) ways you can show generosity and have an influence on your community.
When people hear the word “volunteering”, they think to themselves “Why would I work for free”. If you are working for a cause you believe in, isn’t “working for free” worth it? Think about what we’ve said about generosity. You’re giving your time to someone who needs it. You want to help, right? Try spending two hours a week in an animal shelter or soup kitchens.
There are a lot of places that desperately need a helping hand, so you even get to choose an activity depending on your talents and interests. You can help in cleaning community parks, tutor adults, children, and much more. All these activities are great ways to help while investing very little of your time. The most important thing is to find a cause you believe in. There are a lot of problems in the world, but you can’t fix all of them yourself. That’s why it’s best to focus on one particular problem, find an organization keen on fixing it, and help out there as much as you can. If you want to help animals, find a shelter. If you want to help kids without parents, we’ve already written about how to make orphans happy, so you can start there. These are just examples that can help you find a way to take action!
2. Donate your stuff
If you’re asking yourself how to be more generous without putting in a lot of money, you can always donate your things. We all have a bunch of unnecessary stuff in our homes. They’re sitting in our closets or basements because someday “we’ll need them’. Chances are, you won’t, and even if you do, you’re more likely to shop for new things. Donating stuff isn’t just about getting rid of unnecessaries. It’s about thoroughly checking your things. You’ll need to separate stuff that somebody would be lucky to have from the worn-out useless junk. Sorting things is the most important activity in the donation process. You shouldn’t pile up useless things and throw them in the bag. It’s a charity donation, not a garbage disposal.
Decluttering your home might be beneficial for you in other ways other than bringing you joy from being generous. Cleaning your closet, basement, or backyard can improve your concentration and productivity. When you’re deciding what to throw out, what to donate and what to reuse, you’re also improving your creativity. Distance from material possessions is good on its own, and in a combination with generous donations, it’s wonderful for your well-being.
3. Practice sharing
Share whenever and whatever you can. Try giving up something that has a meaning for you. It’s not generous to share something you don’t care about. You need to put in all your feelings in a generous activity such as sharing. It might seem hard to give away something you love. However, there’s nothing more satisfying than giving more of you to someone else. For example, you could give your favorite novel to your dear friend. Share the love and excitement you felt when reading it!
Giving someone gifts is another great way of sharing love with dear persons. You’ll need to be thoughtful when trying to pick a gift for someone. It’s best if you surprise someone with generous acts for no reason at all. Of course, the crucial thing about being generous is not expecting anything in return, so don’t ask for a reward or gratitude for the act.
Some examples of the ways to show generosity mentioned in this article might help you express your desire to help others. You can always do more, so we’d like to give you one more tip. Try not to think about generosity as a one-time activity but more as a way of life. You can do generous acts in your everyday life if you change your mindset. For example, after a nice dinner in a restaurant, leave your waiters a generous tip. You were satisfied with the service and they were a part of it. Don’t forget to emphasize you’d like them to share the tips with the kitchen, because the mean was splendid and tasty. That will make their day so much better! You see where we’re going with this. If you embrace this kind of mindset, you won’t have problems with showing generosity.
Frequently asked questions about generosity
We tried to answer the most common questions people have about this topic while offering suggestions for actions. However, there are still a lot of questions people are curious about. We singled out some of them:
How can I be generous without money?
We’ve already mentioned that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for good deeds. You can be generous with your time, attention, influence, possessions, etc. Just be willing to give more than you “have to”.
How do you raise a generous child?
As always when you’re trying to educate a child, the best way for influence is giving an example supported by your actions. If you are a generous person and you do good deeds regularly, your kid will pick up on that. You should always praise when your kid does something generous. You can even do things together like join a charity organization. That can teach him/her about empathy which is the root of generosity.
At what age should a child learn about generosity?
Children understand the concept of sharing by the age of three. Of course, you should start with simple things they can comprehend, like sharing toys or candies with siblings. After some time, when a child develops empathy, you can bring in acts of generosity in your home.
Is generosity a character trait?
Yes, generosity is a learned character trait. It’s an attitude a person has, but it also implies making actions.
There are a lot of ways to show generosity to others. Whichever you choose don’t forget to put your heart in it. Make room for generosity in your life. Don’t treat it like something you “have to do”. It’s not one of the things to cross off your grocery list. You can start by putting away money you’d like to give to charity the moment you get your paycheck. It doesn’t have to be much, the act is what counts. You won’t even miss that money and might just forget about it the moment you give it away. However, if you leave this activity for the end of the month, chances are you won’t have much money left! Setting money aside for the cause you believe in is just an example of how you should treat generous acts as a priority. It’s up to you to see what changes will fit your lifestyle best.
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