Day 101 of #LiveWell2017
Generosity comes in many forms, and people can be generous for different reasons. The Buddha tells us that intent of giving is as important as the gift itself.
Think about this: a friend has a birthday coming up. You feel like you should get her a gift because she got you one on your birthday. Work has been crazy lately and left you little time to shop, but you rush to the store and pick up a card and a bottle of wine in time to meet her for her birthday dinner. It’s a nice gesture, you both have a good time, she’s happy, and all is well.
Now consider this scenario: Your friend has a birthday coming up. You know she has been under stress lately trying to juggle work and family. The thing she seems to want most is more time to relax and be with her children. For her birthday, you cook a meal for her family, bring it to her house and offer to stay behind and clean up after the meal while she spends time with her kids.
Both gifts are wonderful, but the intent with which they were given are different. The first was given out of a sense of obligation or expectation, the second was given with careful thought and love. We can’t all be perfect gift-givers all the time, but when we give to others – whether it is our time, money, energy or an object – with the conscious intent to benefit that person from our hearts filled with love, the gift is often more appropriate and better received.
That act of giving, the generosity we offer to others should be thoughtful, loving, wise, and helpful. We can give in this way to both people we know and strangers or organizations we wish to support. So, when you give, ask yourself: what is my intent? will this benefit the recipient? am I giving to create goodness? am I being wise?