Sometimes generosity is about receiving, not giving

Traditionally we think about generosity as giving to others – material goods, services, help, kindness. But I would argue that as other-oriented as we may be, sometimes true generosity looks like accepting from others.

Think of the joy you receive when you give to others. When that person realizes that you have considered their feelings and experience and imagined what might be of benefit to them. Or if someone takes the risk of expressing a need and you hear them – actually hear them – and respond accordingly.

Feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

Now imagine what it might feel like to others when we find it difficult to be on the receiving end. Could you imagine that there is generosity in being on the receiving end of kindness? Can you see how that is also an act of generosity?

We are all in an unusual situation right now and the need for help is real. As you are considering ways in which you might help others, could you also consider how you might receive what you really need, both manifesting the generosity of acknowledging your humanness and offering someone else the gift of giving?