Originally posted – November 24, 2009
I’ve been thinking for a long time about what is it that I have to say about generosity that might be unique. I read a lot about the topic and I talk to a lot of people about the topic and I listen to a lot of discussion about the topic. What I have come to realize is that there is not much new out there on the topic of generosity. So what we are left with are our own thoughts and interpretations.
A recurring thought continues to come back recently. The thought is more of a process. Each time I hear of something worthy of celebrating there is usually generosity present with someone expressing a feeling, giving a gift, sharing their time or the like. On the other hand when I hear of something that is troubling (which unfortunately is much easier to find than the celebration stuff) you can almost always track the problem back to a lack of generosity in some capacity whether it is greed, being inconsiderate with their words, acting on evil thoughts, or the like. Most of the bad can be traced back to a lack of generosity and the good can be traced back to present and visible generosity.
I was reminded of that today as I was blowing off the mountain of leaves out of my yard (for the fifth time this fall). My 5 year old daughter Anabelle loves to run in front of me and entice me to blow her with the blower. She laughs with her wonderful laugh each time I do it and runs away as if it really bothers her, but then 10 seconds later she is back for more teasing me with her beautiful eyes and smile. I blow the air on her again and she squeals and the game continues. It certainly makes yard work less of a chore and more of a blessing.
As Anabelle tired of the game for a while and ran off to ride her scooter I began thinking that all she wants is my attention and my time. We all know this about children, but as adults we tend to be selfish with our time. We are not naturally generous with our time. There are many times that I do yard work to get away from the daily grind of emails and stresses that are present in my life. I want to go into the yard, turn on the blower and let its noise drown out my problems and issues for a few minutes. It is mindless work and that is a good thing every now and then.
Anabelle wants my time and my attention and sometimes I find myself getting irritated by her intrusions into my “little electric blower yard work world.” I caught myself today and became more generous with my time with her. After all she is my daughter who says she is going to marry me one day and the other is yard work. Hmmm.