Be Generous

Besides “99 Words for Leaders to Live By,” I also want to wax on about other terms and ideas close to my heart.

Generosity isn’t easy for most of us. A good many of us start life being taught, and this “education” continues throughout life, that striving after “the good life”  is of paramount importance. Whether we are told this directly or indirectly (e.g. through ads, what people talk about, etc.), it becomes a part of who we are — we want “the good life”; we want our children to have it too.

Many of us are also taught many decent virtues, including “giving to others,” etc.

I’m directly out of this mold. Yet… It has never been easy for me to be generous. Yes, I have, in many ways, been generous with my time. I’m good at pitching in, helping others, volunteering for things, and so on. Being generous with my “money” and “things” has been much harder. I’m learning. It is something I have improved on over the years by having some good role models and by observing the world and what seems to be important to it.

Like many people, I grew up in a lower middle class family — one that didn’t have all those things we saw advertised, or have all those things other people “had,” yet, we were okay — we got by, we had enough to eat, my parents tithed, etc.  So, striving after “things” did have its appeal.

How does “generosity” fit into your life? Can you make some adjustments?

These are good questions. As I said above, it generosity isn’t always easy. BUT, I do believe it is important.

Unfortunately, from my perspective, the world seems to be in a period that is more and more self-centered, and less and less even aware of the importance and value of being generous. Maybe we should call this the “Me” era.”

Here’s some advice: the BEST things in life have to do with kindness, compassion, helping others, giving of yourself — in other words, being generous as a person to as many of your fellow humans as feasible. What I mean is: these are the things that make us feel good. When you help someone else, in almost any way I can think of, you will create the most heartfelt YOU there is.

And what is really amazing is that many, many times, the BEST people at generosity are the people who have the fewest things to give, but they have great hearts. I have cousins like this, friends like this, family like this, and, well… I’m still working on it.

Think about what you can do for others. It doesn’t have to be money; sometimes, even small things, like a hug, a smile, a kind word, and a thumbs up work even better.


Joe Koob





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