"In all things be generous"
I missed most of the popular TV shows of the 90's and early 2000's because of work and other interests. Recently, I have been downloading some West Wing and ER segments from iTunes. In one ER, Mark Greene, one of the surgeons was dying with brain cancer. Mark was not yet 40 years old. His last words to his young rebellious daughter were to be generous in all things ... with love, and exploration, with feelings, and giving... with life. Such a wise gift to a young daughter! Although his daughter, Rachael, is a made-up character, I can't help but wonder how this affected her life going forward.
I'm not sure I have ever thought about being generous in all directions. To live life to the fullest invites all emotions to be transparent and expressed. I sometimes hear that a person is too generous with their time or money. What does this mean? If we are generous in all things, does this mean spoiling our planet, doing whatever we wanted?
Generous is one of the words I believe needs to be re-membered and made new. I have a list of other words as well. Health, wealth, and happy are but a few. Each of these words demands new definition for the paradigm we hope to attract. Health is more than sickness and wealth is more than not being poor. The concept of happy has been challenged lately. What does it mean?
As I scan the news today it seems as if there is no generosity. People are unwilling to be generous in understanding another point of view. Many corporations are unwilling to be generous with the truth and with their transparency. They are often inwardly generous only with corporate salaries and perks. Communities are no willing to hear all sides of an issue. Cultures and religions give other views little space to take hold, to be valued in their own right.
Yet, when there is a disaster, people come to the rescue. Generosity pours forth from all sectors and beliefs. Why does it take a disaster to reveal the real hearts and minds of people? What is it about generosity that we don't yet understand? What is our fear of generosity?
Somehow I believe that if we were generous in all things, the world would be a much better place. Generous in love and anger... generous in feedback and action.... generous with our money and our savings.... generous with what is and what could be.... generous with our emotions and our restraints. Generous with our true selves.
Generous is one of those words we need to bring to life... to recreate in our minds and to validate with all of our actions. The concept of AND is embedded within the meaning of generous. We must grow out of our either/or mentalities before we come to know the full meaning of generosity. Coming to know and being able to share the full meaning of generosity in all things is more than a gift. It is a lifetime of treasure.