Generosity: The thread that holds community together. I’ve recently been on a pursuit to be more generous. While on this journey, I’ve learnt a thing or two. So here’s my Top 9 ways to be more generous.
- Help people see their potential
I’ve spoken on here before about how I’m a dreamer. I have huge dreams and one of the things I’m most proud of about myself is my belief that I can achieve them. We can be more generous by encouraging others to see their potential and relentlessly pursue the passions of their heart. This encouragement is generous because you’re sharing your passion. Here’s the catch though – in order to be more generous in this manner, you need to dream big too and believe in the desires of your own heart.
2. Bring people together
Community is my favourite word. In small towns, community is easy. It’s nearly unavoidable to cultivate a community in a small town, but in the big smoke, it’s a little more difficult. Provoke generosity by adding more chairs to your table. In an urban environment, you have to be intentional about this. My top tip to create community is to include food. Whether you’re baking some biscuits and dropping them to your neighbour (and inviting yourself in for a cuppa when you drop them off) or holding a dinner party for your village, gathering around the table, with some hearty food is a sure-fire way to stoke the embers of community.
3. Contribute in your own way
You have such a unique skillset – use it! The beauty of generosity it that it can look so different. You don’t need to donate thousands of dollars to a charity to be more generous. Use what you have, where you are, to make a difference. The beauty of generosity is that there’s no set scale that makes people ‘more’ or ‘less’ generous than others.
4. Cut people some slack
This is the easiest way to be generous and doesn’t require any tangible action. All you have to do is be kind. You don’t know what people are going through so cut them some slack.
5. Be generous with your time, not just your money.
You don’t have to be rich to be generous. Sometimes money isn’t the answer to the call of generosity. Be willing to sacrifice your time for the need of others. It’s a two-way street, so I guarantee, even though you’ll feel like you’re giving up your time, you’ll get something in return.
6. Share your smile
Smile as you pass someone in the street. Smile at the barista in the coffee shop. Smile at the stranger sitting opposite you on the train. Now, I’m not talking about that awkward tight-lipped half smile (you all know what I mean), I mean a full, showing your teeth, look them in the eye, smile. Make it intentional.
7. Do what matters
See a need? Do something about it. Simple as that. Don’t complain about the committee member not being effective, or that colleague doing a useless job if you’re not willing to step into the arena and offer your time too. Sure, cleaning the toilets after the weekly church service isn’t the most ideal way to spend your time, but seriously – stop being so self-important and get the job done.
8. Support Small
It wouldn’t be very ‘on brand’ of me not to weave something into this listicle about supporting small businesses would it? When you spend your pennies, spend them wisely. Try find a small business to support instead of the large corporations. Shop at farmers markets, purchase your birthday presents from small rural businesses and support the makers, creators and growers of our wonderful nation.
If you need some help in this department, you can find an article about supporting our farmers here and here and a gift giving guide curated entirely from small rural businesses here
9. Take care of yourself
This may seem like a weird one to end on, but you can’t pour from an empty cup. Look. After. Yourself. (Imagine me clapping after every syllable for emphasis). When you’re happy with yourself and where you’re coming from, the energy you’re giving out is going to be positive. Now, this isn’t an excuse to wait until you’re ‘feeling your best’ to be generous, this is an urge to sort yourself out, then get out there and start being more generous.
Generosity is a beautiful thing because it’s a continuous cycle. If you start being more generous, you’re going to make others feel better, you’re going to feel better yourself and you’re going to start seeing the goodness in this world.