Part 9 of 10 in the series Virtues

Why is it so difficult to give what is dearest or what could be useful to us? It is not only because we know we will miss it, it is because we fear an irreversible loss. We are losing a part of ourselves. It is like dying.

To be generous means to conquer these old fears. It also means to redefine our boundaries. For the generous person, borders are permeable. What is yours -your suffering, your problems- is also mine: This is compassion. What is mine-my possessions, my body, my knowledge and abilities, my time and resources, my energy-is also yours: This is generosity.

When we are victorious over age-old unconscious forces, and when we redefine our boundaries, a profound transformation takes place in us.

You can be generous not only with material possessions, but also with spiritual qualities. Above all, you can be generous with yourself.
This is a more subtle form of generosity.

A woman recently suggested that men do not understand how easy it is to have a happy wife,  just follow the advice:

  • Never bore with details
  • Provide hugs and kisses daily
  • Bring flowers & chocolate weekly
  • Handle gently when sad
  • Never disturb when sleeping
  • Feed whenever hungry

All of us have such opportunities to be generous, though we are sometimes not even
aware of them. We hall ave ideas, images, experiences, and memories.

At times, we are too ready to participate in other people’s affairs -we give advice and proclaim our ideas. But often we do not show what makes our heart sing. We keep these experiences to ourselves and communicate only the easy stuff.

However, it is through the sharing of our inner life, of the richest and most fertile part of ourselves, that relationships grow rich and enjoyable. Our relationships are defined by how much of ourselves we communicate.

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Moderation | Empathy