Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Right to Generosity

In the world of philosophy,
generosity is considered a virtue,
beginning with Aristotle and Plato.

Generosity is
bigheartedness or openheartedness or openhandedness,
long words that show that distance
extending from one person to reach another.

The word generosity is a noun, but yet it signifies an action, a verb.
It's considered a character trait (rather than a habit)
wrapped up with a person's emotions, values, desires, and expectations.

Generosity may be motivated by
impulsive emotion, the desire to give,
or
rational choice, practical wisdom.
Either way, a person is moved to generous action.
There is a push. 

Some steps to generosity.

The philosopher Descartes
wrote that true generosity consists 
in knowing that nothing truly belongs to you
but the freedom to dispose of goods at will.
(The Passions of the Soul, art. 153; CSM I 384).

A generous action is grand, virtuous, and luminous.

I declare the Right to Generosity.


47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Generosity is a seed we plant that will grow. However, generosity used for munipulative reasons is not considered a generous act. When it is impulsive, it can leave a lingering feeling. Maybe one you dont want. When generosity is given wisely, it is not forgotten and greatly appreciated. Gives us a better sense of wholeness.

-G.R.

Anonymous said...

" To whom much is given, much is tested."
-King James, Luke 12:48

Anonymous said...

If you give up your life for the sake of the Lord you will gain it.






F.H

Anonymous said...

In my house there was always a saying, "where two can eat three can eat". Generosity is one of the most over-looked virtue a person can have. Material things are not important, money is not important, if you can give don't do it for receiving do it because you don't want nothing back.

Carlos G.

Anonymous said...

I really like what Carlos G. had to say. Especially the saying, "where two can eat, three can eat". It's so simple, yet it says so much. Many people are so focused on what they can gain, they forget about the little things that actually matter, like generosity. Lots of people give to charities, and buy things that donate money to causes, but this seems to be where generosity stops for most of us. Many have not witnessed the look on a persons face when they are given something for no apparent reason. It's priceless to say the least. It is one of the greatest feelings that you can ever have. So it seems that in being generous to others, you are also being generous to yourself. You are giving yourself that awesome feeling.

Sheeda M.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is a good thing, It helps others in need and the more we do it the more others will give. Being generous also makes you feel good. I think we humans need to have more generosity though.
A. Lazo

Anonymous said...

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” - John Wesley
-Krystal Garcia

COL said...

Wow. This posts is almost my favorite. The "right" to be generous/generosity. That means that somewhere someone may have an objection to me giving freely. We all have this right, but I feel that very few use it with people that we may know. I also feel that this right entails that when you give not what you can afford, but as much as needed. That real generosity. This right is not only for the rich, but the poor as well. We can all give love, time, wisdom, and more.
~COL

Dan said...

I believe that true generosity flows from an one's intrinsic sense of compassion and ability to empathize with others. Without empathy and compassion, acts of generosity become hollow gestures.

Dan M.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is a virtue, it's up to the individual to choose wether or not to be kind to others.

-M.Quintanilla

LML said...

Being generous is showing small acts of kindness on a regular basis. It eventually makes us feel good about ourselves. Being generous doesn't mean we feel pity for others, it just shows we are courteous and kind to others.

Anonymous said...

"To er is human, to forgive, divine." - Bible text Whenever i see a homeless person on the street, i try to give as much as i can. Even if its a few dollars, i cant help but feel terrible. Although i usually try to buy them (homeless) food. I also give blood since I'm O+. I am a universal donor. The right to generosity is a universal right shared amongst millions.

Alexis Herrero

Anonymous said...

As commented in previous posts generosity is rewarding for the person who shares and does not expect anything back. Generosity may also be guided by compassion. Any feeling that guides generosity is positive. A.L.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is one of the most beautiful actions a person can do. To be able to give back to the world to the people less fortunate than us. And it doesn't have to deal with donating money, it can be an act of kindness or a favor to someone.

-Alli Brecht

Anonymous said...

Generosity is a great virtue, and it says a lot about someone's character. I think it's a beautiful thing to be generous, and if you believe in karma it's a great way to feel good.

Javier H.

Anonymous said...

True generosity is to give freely without expecting anything in return. Society today is always expecting something in return. We need incentives like a free movie ticket to donate blood, or the latest trendy shoe to donate to children in Africa. So does generosity still exist?

LC

Anonymous said...

Generosity is so much more than just giving money. It's giving to others without expecting anything in return. It's about sharing. It's about giving because you want to and not because you feel forced to or because you want some kind of recognition for it afterwards. I completely agree with the post above me. Do we only give when we know there is something in it for us too? We need to make a change. One of favorite Gandhi quotes: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

N.Av

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right of Generosity, it is an act that makes all humans. It feels good to give, and if all the people around the world were generous, for sure the world would be a better place. Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

H.D.A

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to generosity. Generosity is a good thing and a bad thing. Being generous can result in many different effects; such as it can give to others, it can make people feel welcomed; it can give them warmth, love, and even nurture them. But it can also be a disadvantage in more than one way, it can be hurtful like giving too much generosity can lead people on to the point where they will expect it, also people who give generosity away without asking the other person is wrong for example if you are helping at a charity and someone asks for help and you tell them the person over there can help you without getting their consent is being too generous. But this also helps us learn from our mistakes.
Chelsea M.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to generosity. You don't necessarily need to give money or food to feel wholesome, you can also share wisdom and knowledge. “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains immortal.”
- Albert Pine


-D.E.C.

Anonymous said...

Many of you have mentioned that generosity makes the generous person feel good. Have you stop for a second to think why would this action make somebody feel good? Could it be because we are all supposed to be generous to each other to live in a more balanced world? Generosity brings positive feelings to those who receive and to those who give. I believe we all should practice this right and make it a must in our everyday life. D.C.R

Anonymous said...

I really like what Descartes says about having the freedom to be generous when we have the knowledge that nothing actually belongs to us. Too many people are chained to their possessions, and generosity allows us to cut ourselves free of the treadmill that is acquiring material things. The saddest thing I can imagine is dying all alone in a big house full of stuff, and I think that the most important thing we can do with the things we have been given is to give them away. -A.B.

Anonymous said...

"Generosity is another quality which, like patience, letting go, non-judging, and trust, provides a solid foundation for mindfulness practice. You might experiment with using the cultivation of generosity as a vehicle for deep self-observation and inquiry as well as an exercise in giving." -Jon Kabat Zinn

Stefan H.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is a beautiful virtue. To be generous, one must give and expect nothing in return. Personally, I believe being generous is an absolutely amazing feeling. Etel

Anonymous said...

I fell like having the right to be generous also ties into happiness. Giving my time and energy to a cause and not expecting money or anything in return just creates the greatest feeling of pure joy inside of me. especially when you help the less fortunate, I feel like I have really done something that mattered in their life. SJB

Anonymous said...

Generosity is the willingness to give freely. One of my favorite benefactors of this virtue is Mother Teresa. She gave of herself, till the very end of her life, to the sick, the hungry, the poor, the brokenhearted, the lowest and the unwanted. This is true generosity straight from the heart.
-Ana DM

Anonymous said...

I believe that generosity isn't given enough in modern day. Most people aren't generous enough to others and it is never given back. It's like a constant cycle. However, generosity should be given to anyone at any moment. With that, we will be happy and peaceful. Robert S.

D.Zabala said...

Many people give, do something, or treat someone a certain way expecting something in return. One of the reasons I married my wife is because she has a big heart that is always showing others generosity. I wonder if her willingness to be generous is something she was born with, taught, or done by some natural instinct.

Anonymous said...

You should not need a right to tell you to be generous, we are humans we should always do our very best to help others out in anyway possible shape or form. Generosity is born with you, you have to choose on how to use that generosity and i say you should always be generous even towards people you hate it does not matter, what matters is that you did a good deed and that should be going around the entire world. Only then can we live in a peaceful world where anyone can solemnly help another person without having to take a second thought. - J.J.V.

Anonymous said...

I declare the right to generosity as well. Be generous is a beautiful act. I definitely think that this is a habit that we should reinforce and try to exercise this right with one and other. I also believe that showing generosity is contagious so show kindness to someone and they will in turn want to be generous themselves. (LCL)

N.Cruz said...

Aristotle defines a virtue as “a disposition of the soul in which, when it has to choose among actions and feelings, it observes the mean relative to us, this being determined by such a rule or principle as would take shape in the mind of a man of sense or practical wisdom.” Aristotle said, “Most people would rather get than to give affection”. Being generous is defined as being unselfish. It is being liberal in giving or sharing. As children we taught that it is better to give than to receive. This is teaching us to be generous to others. It is not about the materialistic things that another person may give you, but it’s about the simple actions that individual may do to show their affection and unfortunately today’s generation prefers to get than to give. For this reason I declare the right to generosity. Everyone should know how to be generous and not focus on just receiving.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the trend called paying it forward. I love the idea of random acts of kindness and think obviously that the world would be a much better place if we could have this ideal in mind at all times.
S. Jones

Anonymous said...

Someone once said "Behind every light lies a shadow, and within the darkness can be found a shred of light." Generosity may be good, but it has its own shadow, its own ulterior motive. Selfishness also has some good behind it as well. If you are selfish with people you may be teaching some to fend for themselves, and not to become so dependent upon others. It is like yin and yang, it goes hand in hand. In the end you need to try your hardest to find that shade of grey, the middle ground.
L.A.R.

Anonymous said...

The right to generosity is an individual choice. People or institutions that chose to be generous will always get back three times what they have given. One sample is when a corporation share it profit with the people that help them become successful, their employees. In return, their employees work hard and contribute to the success of the corporation. By: LJBR

Anonymous said...

I believe true generosity - is one one of the greatest gifts that one can give to another, because it is the gift of thyself. It is a form of love, and love in all its forms - is the foundation of life. Children, as an example, are the purest form of that reality; we all come from love. It's the very reason we are all here and the only real truth to life, in my personal opinion. It is a powerful moving message and a lesson for each other. F.G.

"The giving of love, is an education in itself." Eleanor Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

I love this right! I love knowing people still believe in it and practice it. I believe true generosity is a decision you need to make. I believe we have two sides where we can choose from, you can do good or do bad. You may be generous to others or may choose not to. But at last it is a decision that only you can make.

MSM15 said...

Giving without expecting to receive in return is what makes a person special. The important thing is to help those who may need a hand at any time. That is why I completely agree with the right to generosity.
~MSM15

Anonymous said...

I believe that true generosity is a beautiful action that can bring inspiration to those around you. Unfortunately generosity is sometimes used to manipulate situations to benefit the individual that is being so called generous.
J.M.

Anonymous said...

Carlos G. money is not important because you have it!

Anonymous said...

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike
What we see as a small act of generosity is seen as a humane act to others.
-ACA

Anonymous said...

The right to generosity is a choice each person makes every day. I think that generosity is the greatest characteristic an individual can have. "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." -John Wooden

P.Picone

Anonymous said...

I really like that you called generosity a trait not a habit. Sometimes it seems that people are generous to get something back, like for example good karma. Are they being generous because they truly want to be or are they being generous because they think they will receive good karma?

Shani A.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is amazing when you see it in action. A stranger caring for another, is an after thought in this rushed modern society. People are so focused on their lives, that they drive by a major accident and do not think to stop. We are too concerned about our own lives and do not take a moment to see if someone else needs our assistance.
J.F.

A.N.A. said...

Generosity is a part of who you are. You can be kind and generous or cold hearted and cruel. The saying "Treat people how you would want to be treated." and "Put yourself in their shoes." comes to mind when I think of being generous. A generous act is one that comes from the heart and that is selfless. At the same time, being too generous can cause people to take advantage of your kindness. My philosophy is, be generous to people until they give you a reason not to be.

Anonymous said...

"God is love, generosity and forgiveness; if we believe in this, we will never allow our weaknesses to paralyse us."- Coehlo Paulo, The Valkyries.
MVHT

Anonymous said...

Being generous is the action of giving to the people without waiting something in return, is as if with this virtue, we are here on earth to share what we have. Generosity brings satisfaction to the heart of those who are constantly generous to their neighbors. This great quality most times cannot be learned because in my opinion is a part of our character so we have to be born with it. O.V.

Anonymous said...

Generosity is an action of kindness that we all should share. Giving to others that need, and not expecting anything in return makes us pure. Giving to those that don’t have gives us the opportunity to show what a great person is all about, and it cleanses our soul to make others happy. -ABL