“The poor don’t know that their function
in life is to exercise our generosity.”
— Jean-Paul Sartre
“One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
— Proverbs 11:24
Today I had an opportunity to think about being generous again. I think that I am a generous person in many ways, including with money, but sometimes, I am not nearly as generous as I could be, if you know what I mean.
Many years ago, my wife was a waitress for a living, and I got to see how generous people generally are or not on the receiving end. Then, somewhere in my travels, and I think it came from Jim Rohn, I heard that when you’re thinking of how much to tip, we many times will have different numbers in our head. He said to always, without exception, choose the higher amount. I pretty much have done that with few exceptions of the people who provide a service for me, but when it comes to street people, beggars, super market front door organizations and such, I don’t so much follow that rule, and I often choose the lesser amount.
Let’s say that I have a $20, a $10, a $5 and some $1 bills in my pocket, I will often choose the bill I want to give (probably a couple of $1 bills) and put it aside in a different pocket and give it. Not generous at all in the normal sense except that I gave when I could have walked right by.
Then there are the driveway sign beggars, purported to be homeless people, and such. Recently, within the last year, I’ve chosen to be more generous from time to time. Not every time, partly because they are in so many driveways, but many times. Today was another opportunity and I chose the highest bill in my pocket. You would have thought I gave him a thousand dollars. He had about 4 teeth in his mouth and was a relatively young man, and it brought me to tears thinking about the life he is living and how rich I am in comparison financially regardless of where I rank next to someone well off. Everything is relative, isn’t it?
Anyway, I’ve done this several times now and it’s kind of funny that I don’t even miss the money in the slightest. In fact, I may even feel more free and light as a result, whereas, when I gave the smaller bill, I didn’t feel that way. Maybe it is true that they’re reason for being is to exercise my generosity. . .
So, now I’m going with the original strategy, but across the board. Always giving the higher amount is a good plan, and it probably means more to me than it does to them. Maybe not. They probably like to see a more generous person from time to time, as I used to a long time ago counting my wife’s tips with her.
Choose To Be Ready To Spontaneously Give.
Spread Some Joy Today–Choose the higher amount.