Recently experiencing a couple of recent acts of generosity made me think more about that concept, especially in todays often ugly social climate.  I was surprised to find this among the definitions of generosity: freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.

One act occurred when I lost the screw to my eyeglass frames at work.  Although I was uncomfortable doing so, the glasses were a distraction, so I went to the eyeglass shop Riley Hospital has for its patients.  The person there was very friendly and gladly replaced the screw without charge, and said “come back any time” with a big smile.

Another act occurred in the cafeteria at Riley Hospital yesterday.  The cash register system was down.  Rather than closing the cafeteria, someone made the decision to just give us our lunches free of charge!  I overheard someone say, “that never would have happened at….”

I see that same generosity in the way all of the staff at Riley always go out of their way to be friendly and helpful.  I always notice my colleagues squatting down and engaging our young patients wherever they met them.

It is striking that much of the political dialog could be defined as the opposite of generous.


“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
John Holmes

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.  [Verse 223]”
Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
Francis of Assisi


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