I would often be the last one waiting for a ride home from Granite Mountain Junior High. Eventually, the Ford truck with the burgundy stripe would pull up and my dad, grinning from ear-to-ear would apologize for running behind and then explain why he was running late. More often than not, it would involve helping someone in some capacity. Helping a customer with a flat tire, negotiating a driver to pick up another little old lady at the airport or bringing a smile to someone's face. The list was endless, frustrating and difficult to justify feelings of bitterness.
The first place I learned to be generous was at home. Cash was not plentiful, but generosity through service, work and positive encouragement was in abundance. This early example set the tone for my default when I think of being generous. Fixing a toilet, moving a household and coordinating party logistics were my recent opportunities to give.
How you apply the abundance in your life to care for those around you are just as diverse as our fingerprints. Your biography includes a history of spending your time, talents and resources to make the world a better place. How did your early examples influence your current perspective? No doubt, there are particular people and acts of giving that flood your mind, and you can see the roots of these examples sprouting in your life today. What are some of those stories?
We may never live up to some of these early examples and may fall woefully short at other times. A missed opportunity I will always remember, was during an evening walk in Lisbon Portugal in 2000. A severely disfigured man shook his donation cup for some coins, and I never slowed my stride as I passed. Today, I would like to think; I would respond differently to the gentleman.
The good news is that you are being watched and are busy teaching the next generation how to exemplify generosity. The young child watches his father, and the aggressive intern that wants to run the company is watching how the CEO displays her generosity. Giving is a skill worth honing to make the world a better place and even if you're not concerned about the world out there; you never know what the future holds and you may need to be on the receiving end.
Going Further: What is that distinct memory of generosity that came to mind earlier in the posting? How did this event shape you? Have you ever shared the impact of this experience with the person who exemplified generosity for you? Who do you know is watching your example of generosity?