An Example of Generosity
In the O’Henry short story The Gift of the Magi, Della has one prized possession and that is her long and beautiful hair. But more than anything in the world, she wants to give her a husband a Christmas present worthy of him. So she sells her hair for $20, cutting it short to her chin, to buy him a chain for his watch.
She knows that her husband Jim also has one prized possession and that is his watch, and this chain is the perfect gift for him. Jim also wants nothing more than to buy his wife the perfect Christmas present, so he sells his watch to buy Della two pure tortoise shell combs to hold back her gorgeous hair.
I love this story, because it captures the generosity we are capable of us humans. We are willing to sacrifice the possessions we hold most dear for love.
Generosity is a beautiful thing. But what really is generosity? We want to be generous. We want to be thought of as generous. We want the world was more generous. But what does that mean?
And that is the topic for this video.
Let’s Start With…
In 2009, The University of Notre Dame started the “Science of Generosity” Initiative. And for the past 5 years, they’ve been studying generosity- what is it? when are people generous? and how can people become even more generous?
They offer a definition that identifies three different components of generosity:
- Generosity involves giving to others not simply anything in abundance but rather giving those things that are good for others. Generosity always intends to enhance the true well-being of those to whom it gives.
- Generosity is the virtue of giving good things to others freely and abundantly.
- Generosity is in its mature form, a basic, personal, moral orientation to life…. Generosity entails not only the moral good expressed but also many vices rejected.
Watch Out For
I’ll go in-depth into each of these components and help you avoid common mistakes.
Then End With…
What I hope is my succinct and clear definition.
Share With Me
What do you think generosity is?
How do you express generosity in your life?