The pureness of generosity


It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Teresa

Generosity comes in many forms, but when you experience it first-hand, it feels authentic.

There is no “giving to get.” It is pure; the person choosing to extend themselves on your behalf has no ulterior motive except to help, perhaps responding to an inner prompting to be of service.

Recently, I was the recipient of such goodwill. A woman professional listened to my dilemma and gave her high level professional advice without charging a fee, or attaching any expectations to our conversation.

I sensed a genuine kindness of one woman truly wanting to help another, no strings attached. From this experience and other observations, I have seen increasingly that generosity has little to do with income or standard of living, but more with how someone values himself or herself and others placed before them.

Sometimes, if we truly “hear” another beneath the story they are telling us (or themselves), we can choose to respond with compassionate giving. Those types of compassionate choices take some discernment, a moment of pause, to choose to truly “be” with another person, without asking for something in return.

I am starting to see in such circumstances there is a sort of karmic exchange, reminiscent of that old saying of “what goes around, comes around.” Or, put another way, help others in their time of need, and you will be helped. The surprise is the person who “pays it back” to you may not be anyone you expected.

In my case, it was a complete stranger, who listened with care, concern and kindly, without judgment, expertly shared her wisdom and valuable expertise. Grateful for the exchange, I am reminded to find a way to pay it forward by serving another with equal dignity in their time of need.

Love is an act of service and we thrive by both giving and receiving it.

Beth Shedd’s photo of the child cradling the bunny represents the gentleness of giving to others without the need for reciprocation.


1. I allow myself to generously and lovingly extend myself on the behalf of another.

2. I allow myself to listen with compassion to the needs of another, without judgment.

3. I allow the grace of silence –by taking a moment to pause—to guide me with discernment in how to respond to others placed before me.

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