Being generous is not always easy, but this year I am being challenged to become more giving in a variety of ways. So often, generosity is associated with money, but it’s much more than that. We can offer more of our time, be gracious in relationships, or sacrifice our desires for the sake of someone else.
I first grasped this thing called “generosity” when was in elementary school, about 100 years ago, with an experience that is engraved on my mind forever. My mom was the leader of a group called Campfire Girls which is similar to Girl Scouts. On this particular day, our group had visited the elderly in a local nursing home. Each girl was paired up with another person with whom we exchanged gifts. My sweet lady gave me an Uno candy bar, so wildly popular it’s no longer in existence today. As we were dropping girls off at their homes in our white hippy van, this chocolate marshmallow bar called my name repeatedly asking me to partake. Mom ordered me not to open it in front of everyone else unless I was prepared to share.
The temptation was too great; I ignored her instructions, unwrapped it and bit off a morsel. Mom immediately pulled the van over to the side of the road and demanded that I exit and walk. Shocked, I stumbled out and watched as she drove AWAY. Can you even believe it?! I should’ve recalled her knack for follow through! Ambling aimlessly, I hoped she’d return to give me a ride home. Eternity stretched out giving me time to ponder my disrespect, my lack of generosity. When the van returned, it was empty except for Mom
If she lectured me, I don’t recollect. It doesn’t really matter, because I will never forget the lesson etched on my heart about the importance of sharing with others. And, she believed it was so important that leaving me on the side of the road to ponder my actions was insignificant compared to me thinking of those less fortunate—even when it involves sharing a silly candy bar.
Think about how you can be generous, even when it seems insignificant, with your family, friends, the grocery store clerk, the waitress, or the Starbucks coffee server. Offering a kind word, the last bite, a bigger tip, a bit of understanding for a hard day, a gentle response can go a long way and just may change someone’s day!