I love the holidays. It is a very special, warm, joyful time of year. It’s a time when the majority of people set their cares aside and become kinder, friendlier, and open-hearted. We enjoy embracing each other in love and acceptance. As we now move into that season, it is the best time to re-evaluate this mindset.
The mindset, known as generosity of spirit, by most definitions consists of two parts. Those are kindness and compassion. Generosity means that we freely give of ourselves using those two elements to make a difference in people’s lives.
Kindness is action done with friendship, unselfishness, and consideration. True kindness comes from empathy into the minds and hearts of another person. Showing others true benevolence and graciousness.
Compassion means recognizing and empathizing with someone who has experienced misfortune or suffering. When you see someone like that, compassion translates into a deep desire to do something to alleviate that suffering.
Here is where the secret lies. There must first be kindness and compassion, but it must come from a place of authenticity – a genuine love for others. No one can “tell” you how to do this. It is a feeling that comes from within. An “honest-with-yourself” approach and identifiable decision to choose to love another person. Not just someone who has been kind or nice or loving toward you. But everyone that you come in contact with. This can be especially hard if you have been abused, manipulated, or scorned by another person. (Loving someone else does not mean allowing that person to take advantage of you. If you do, you are being unloving to yourself.)
When kindness and compassion come from this place of sincere desire to give of yourself, there is a kind of magic that takes place. The joy that results within is brighter and more elated than that of the receiver of your gift. An explosion of peace and happiness. The axiom of it “being better to give than to receive” is at the heart of this reaction. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it is a universal truth.
It is a mystery that has been passed down as truth, and still remains elusive to people who have not yet discovered it. When you give of yourself without desire for anything in return, the magic happens and you’ve found that key to a joy you cannot accomplish in any other way.
The holidays are the perfect time of year to begin your quest for true generosity of spirit. When you find it, keep it going all year long. It won’t be hard to do when the obscurity of the premise hits you so conspicuously that you can no longer deny it.
Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson