This is the eighth of 10 weekly reading assignments and kind action recommendations using the book “The Power of Kindness” as inspiration.
Reading: Read the chapter called “Generosity”
How have you been doing with the idea of completing your reading with mindful awareness each week? Which suggestion has worked best for you? Review those from past weeks and choose the one that has best resonated for you for this week’s reading.
Kind Action: Provide Something of Value That You Own or Possess to Another
Ferrucci says that generosity is an act that transforms us. This week, bring the concept of generosity as described by him in this chapter into mindful awareness by providing something of value that you currently own or possess to another. This could be a material thing or something you possess metaphorically. Ferrucci refers to these things as “my possessions, my body, my knowledge and abilities, my time and resources, my energy.”
To assist you with this, spend some time reflecting on the Buddhist parable of children who have built sand castles on the beach. During the day while building them, they feel territorial and proprietary. But that night after they’ve gone home, the tide comes and washes them away. Ferrucci says our most precious possessions are like sand castles.
For this week’s topic of “Generosity,” I struggled a little, because I do often give of my time and support to others already, which I think is a very valuable thing – I always appreciate that gift from others. I did like the part in Ferrucci where he talks about generosity being the opposite of how we feel in an acquisitive society. Something like, the more we have, the more we want to hang onto those things we have.
On the topic of which suggestion so far has been most helpful for me, I would say I’m still using “Transparent Kindness” every day. Instead of silently sulking or resenting another’s actions, I try to find a way to communicate about what I would like, to that person, even if they don’t end up responding as I hope. Ferrucci’s exhortation to try to keep our relationships free of those intervening burdens of emotional baggage is a a good one.
Oh, I remember! Last week in my “generous” act I talked in a friendly way with a neighbor who I had been resenting because of previous negative email interactions. He loved it.
I have found that even with my best attempts, e-mails are often taken as somewhat more intense or perceived as negative, when that was not what I intended. Face to face is priceless!