This really got me thinking. There is no measure of what is enough or too much - what might be within my comfort zone or out of it - no quantifying what it takes to be considered "generous". This teaching is about viewing everything I do as an opportunity to increase my "determination to be generous". Even the smallest gesture can be included. How I answer the phone can be an opportunity to practice increasing my determination to be generous. There is limitless opportunity in this.
The other half of that day's teaching occurred in the morning. I was shopping in a national chain drugstore and encountered the generosity of a store employee. As I stood in line to check out I noticed the woman working the cash register was practicing the determination to be generous. She was, you could tell, not particularly easy on her feet. Standing long hours at the register was clearly not comfortable for her, but her discomfort did not undermine her intention. As long as she was interacting with people, she was doing what she could for the people she encountered. First she graciously helped the customer ahead of me who was confused about a sale item and then she graciously helped me.
I was buying only a padded envelope - just one thing. Smiling at me, this employee told me with concern and warmth in her voice that she thought the envelope was on sale. Moving slowly, she walked 20 feet to the other register to get a coupon book, brought it back, hunted through the book for the coupon, found it, and sold me the envelope for what turned out to be a fraction of the price I would have paid without the coupon. I would have bought the envelope for the higher price and never have known the difference.
This woman transformed my day - actually her actions will transform a great deal more than that single day. I continue to think about her and the ways in which she showed her determination to be generous. Her thoughtful gesture has given me a beautiful example of how to increase my own determination.
There are many demands on my time these days. I am traveling more, giving talks, looking for ways to help people recover from injuries. I have been feeling tired and a little spent - maybe even a little fearful of how much I have committed to. From that fear has arisen a tendency to be a little uncertain about how to practice generosity.
Now I see that it's the determination to be generous that changes everything. If I choose, my sitting in front of this computer can be filled with generosity or it can be filled with resentment or anything in between. I'm still sitting in front of the computer. I'm still typing. But my intention is different. If my intention is different, then subtly or perhaps not so subtly, the result of my actions will be different.
When working with someone who is ill or injured, being committed to growing my determination to be generous can make a significant difference. That commitment teaches me to pay attention to what I have to give and how I am giving it and, most of all, to what the person to whom I am being generous might really need. Being determined to be generous does not ask me to give what I don't have to give, to become resentful because I overextend what I am capable of. It asks me to discover what is needed, how I might help, and then give what help I can give as generously as I can. The cashier in the drugstore didn't try to give me something she imagined I needed. She looked at me and at the envelope I was buying and took the time to ask herself if she could help me with what I was trying to do.
If I am injured or ill and it would be a benefit to me to have a curtain opened so I could look out the window, I need you to be generous with me about opening that curtain. That's it. You don't have to worry about what else I might need. If you are determined to be as generous with me in this small thing as you can be, my heart will know. My spirits will lift. Your example will encourage me to be generous with the people around me and with myself as I work to recover. You will make a difference simply because you determined to be generous.
Article Source: psychologytoday.com/blog/healing-possibility