In one of the communities in which I participate, generosity is celebrated as a top value. For months, I’ve been marinating on this, considering for myself what it means to be generous.
I’m a word geek, so the first place I go when I’m thinking about a word is to the dictionary.
Merriam-Webster defines Generous as:
- liberal in giving;
- marked by abundance or ample proportions;
- characterized by a noble or kindly spirit.
In the past, I had tended to think of generous in connection with something people give, most specifically their time, money, assistance, feedback, support.
I’m grateful to be a part of several communities where someone will get on a call with you or read a draft of a piece and give you feedback on it. No expectation of anything in return, just willing to help out. As solopreneurs we need this.
All of this is certainly generous. Giving of yourself is generous.
And… it’s not the only way.
Receiving can also be generous. It’s not our cultural norm; we are trained that it’s better to give than to receive. But in receiving, we allow other people to give.
Receiving creates space for someone to be seen in their gifts, it gives opportunity for someone to practice their craft, to step into themselves, to show their skills, to build confidence.
In receiving, we allow others to be generous, and that, in itself, is a generous act.