At least six years ago, my Pastor preached something that has stuck with me ever since:
Generosity generates goodness.
I’ve just finished editing my chapter on generosity for my upcoming book and I wanted to share a exactly two thoughts I’ve had about this idea.
- It’s by design.
- Think a good thing, do a good thing.
Many of my life lessons come from my favorite television show FRIENDS. Perhaps you remember the one where Joey proved to Phoebe that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. In the episode, she lets a bee sting her so he could look tough in front of his bee friends. Of course, the bee died. Whoops! In another example, Phoebe gives money to a charity she doesn’t like but it ends up helping Joey, so she feels good inside. Ding ding ding!!!
Generosity generates good feelings for those you are generous to but the biggest winner is usually you. Yes, you’re the one that ends up with a lot of warm fuzzy feelings inside. And rightly so. Isn’t it awesome that when we do good things and are generous, we receive a lot of good too? The joy and satisfaction of helping other humans is awesome. It is awesome but I also believe it’s by design. Because when all that goodness is generated by generosity guess what’s likely? More generosity. More goodness. Well played God, well played.
Another mantra I like to use when it comes to generosity is to think a good thing, do a good thing. Many times we think about doing something nice but we don’t actually do that something. We think of calling a relative. We think of praising a child for something small they did. We think of paying for someone’s lunch who is counting change. We think of dropping off food at a friend’s house who is feeling sick. Heck, we see a lady at the grocery rocking a pretty dress and think maybe we should tell her so. But somehow, we get stopped in our tracks before the actual DOING begins. That happens for many reasons. We get busy, we feel awkward or we feel like our thing will be inadequate. Isn’t interesting how those reasons are all self-focused? Especially since generosity is supposed to be others-focused? So, let’s flip the script.
Imagine a world where no one held back good things? How much joy, gratitude and goodwill would that worldworld be filled with? Well, we can’t control the world, but I can control me and you can control you. Why don’t we just agree, right now, that we’ll act on those little thoughts that come up? Those little, teeny tiny ideas or impulses? If you think a good thing, do a good thing.