Generosity is the selfless act of giving with no expectation of anything in return. The beauty of being a generous person is that even though intentions are to receive nothing in return, the giver in fact receives tenfold.
How can that be? Why if being generous is so fruitful more people would engage in this behavior? Simple, in today’s society, we are accustomed to the hear and now – at microwave speed. I give you something and you give me something in return right now – today – this minute. Immediate gratification.
If I donate my time and energy for a cause that is fundraising money to build clean water wells in Haiti, I won’t see the fruit of my labor today and in fact I may never see it in my lifetime. But giving from my heart – giving knowing that a person who drinks from that well won’t be knocking on my door handing me a couple bucks for my time, but knowing that a person will one day be drinking clean healthy water and live a healthier better life because I took the time is worth more than a couple bucks. I traded my time to help someone better their life. And we may never meet.
I didn’t need that instant gratification. What I got back was knowing that somewhere, someone in the future is benefiting from something I did today. I gave of myself knowing I will not get anything tangible in return. I gave from my heart.
We can give of ourselves each and every day by smiling at a stranger, helping an elderly person put groceries in their car, working at a food bank, shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, cutting someone’s lawn… that selfless act of paying it forward through generosity. What a beautiful concept.