generosity (dʒɛnəˈrɒsɪtɪ)

Generosity. The simplicity of selfless giving is the sweetest thing. A thought of an unspoken need. A thought of compassion. Understanding. Empathy. Pure intuition. Experiencing generosity is one of the joys in life. Maybe you are a generous person…never noting the times you’ve given nor second guessed yourself in the act, but purely given out of the kindness of your heart. You are loved.

This week was a “getting into a routine” and “stepping back to re-motivate and reflect on goals” week. I spent a few nights this week to myself and I realized I had missed the time I had previously to myself in Arizona. A care package had come from my mother and in it was dark chocolate. Cafe Muse (a favorite spot of mine) had recently begun offering wine in the evenings, so I walked over and had a glass of red wine and chocolate. Lovely. I had not been sleeping well at all and was exhausted. She was so nice and made me toast and brought a plate of fried things (I have no idea what they were, but they were good…) and said she hoped I was feeling better. And it didn’t cost any extra.

The second occasion I experienced a special act of generosity in the last day or so was at yoga practice. Day one of class was instructed entirely in Korean, which was peaceful in itself. Even though I didn’t have the correct words as to what she was saying I could think back to previous classes and think about what was being said as poses were changed. On Day two, however, a girl arrived who spoke English and offered to translate the whole hour for us. Incredibly sweet as many people view yoga as a personal activity and would not think to speak during that time. She took it upon herself to offer to translate and even at our slight “are you sure’s” was more than willing to translate.

Last night, I took a walk in the rain. It was a damp evening; not the sticky damp, but the crisp damp that makes your nose and cheeks rosy. I needed to buy roasted coffee beans again and have them ground for my press. The place I usually go, Dom Coffee (I think that’s how you say it), was open (thank goodness) so I picked out a new roast with the help of the owner. It’s from Brazil and it smells heavenly! (And tastes amazing!) I decided to sit for a minute and warm up with hot chocolate. The lady gave me a discount because I bought the drink and the beans. It’s times like this that make my alone time comforting. There’s no one else to know the secret grandness of the simple gesture except for the owner and I or to spoil the thankful smile and my stuttering of my Korean “thank-you.” (even though I know this word and can say it fairly well, it still is new to my tongue and whenever I get into a public setting I stutter on it.)

Sometimes generous moments are to be had alone, but afterwards usually shared with others. Often, generosity is personal and meaningful to both the giver and the receiver.

Generosity in friendships is a treasured thing. Whether it’s making time to call or letting them know you are thinking of them if they cross your mind. Maybe it’s annoying, maybe it’s disregarded, but I feel that people need to know when they are being thought of…when something reminds you of them and they would appreciate the song, the quote, the scenery, a memory, or something funny to make them laugh. People deserve to have something happy from another if the day is good or bad. I can only pray my actions towards people are generous.

Generosity is also good to give to yourself. Be generous with your time to indulge. To do things you may later regret not doing. Though being generous to others may come more naturally; the acts are sometimes unnoticed as being generous until complemented by the receiver, sometimes unrecognized at all until a later moment of reflection. But being generous to yourself is a conscience effort…the effort to take the time out of the day for yourself. To do the things you enjoy doing. It also means not feeling obligated to return favors; not owing anyone, anything; it means clearing the clutter in your mind and giving you more space to breath and do what’s best for you.

I think I would like others to see me as a generous person. A character trait highly regarded and distinguished in unconventional ways. Not necessarily thought of as a popular trait to possess, but in contemplating the generous acts this week and reflecting on my own flaws, I hope I can be that way too.

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