What if generosity is simply a choice of how we live, love, work, and also play? We are either generous, or not. It’s that simple.
Albert Camus believed that “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” And Anne Frank’s wisdom is timeless as she continues to touch our lives. Her words serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of kindness and hope, even in the face of harsh adversity. Anne wrote, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Giving, whether our energy, focus, resources, or kindness, brings joy and fulfillment to both the giver and the receiver. All our lives are enriched in meaningful ways when it’s pure and from the heart. No expectations; only pure value and appreciation of being able to truly show up in our lives.
But when we are mired with internal conflict, it is almost impossible to show up for each other. The wounds are too deep. And we need to first do our own work in learning to be generous to ourselves.
Is it possible to reach a point where there is no need to only think just about ourselves and be able to move mountains together?
How We Wire Ourselves Matters
A team of scientists at UC Santa Barbara conducted a set of computer simulations to find out whether evolution would select against generosity in situations where there is no future payoff.
What they discovered is surprising. Generosity—acting to help others in the absence of foreseeable gains— emerges naturally from a desire to cooperate. This is super interesting because it suggests that generosity isn’t just a result of societal pressure. But it’s an innate part of who we are as humans.And that we value cooperation over competition and conflict.
The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative defines generosity as giving good things to others freely and with abundance. This includes giving resources like attention, time, and emotional support without any strings attached.
A team from Macquarie Business School in Sydney put this to the test by interviewing 800 managers from Sydney and Silicon Valley. They found that “generous systems—those that shared information and resources more openly—generated significantly more competitive advantage (measured by degrees of innovativeness, efficiency, quality, and responsiveness) than those that didn’t.”
Generosity improves our relationships. It involves a willingness to share ourselves, our resources, abilities, and kindness with others, without expecting anything in return. We no longer put up with toxicity when we choose to be generous to ourselves.
By embodying kindness, generosity has the power to bring us together, improve our lives and create a more harmonious world.
What if generosity is simply part of how we do stuff together that adds value? It definitely requires integration into our daily practices. Maybe we can stop judging ourselves and others on how much we give, if at all?
In a world of generosity, there is only giving and receiving; no need for balance sheets to track progress. It is a natural flow that is anchored in our hearts. We will get many opportunities to practice and expand our abilities to truly share in the coming years.
We will reach a time when we will no longer need a dedicated Kindness Day as every day will be wrapped with our curiosity and generosity. Can we tap into our natural generosity and make it a way of life?