I'd like to talk about generosity. And I want to contemplate it and write about it and live it. That sense of abundance and magnanimity that each of us has the capacity to share and that the world so desperately hungers for. Every. Single. Day.
I don't know about you, but simply saying the word "generosity," and its luminous siblings "nobleness, munificence, bountifulness," makes my insides swell in a gleaming warmth. In an expanded sense of connection and possibility.
It reminds me of this morning when I went upstairs to the attic to make sure the Santa Hat is in good shape and raring to go as I gear up for another season of Santa Hat adventures. As I gently unwrapped the Hat, I sensed this sudden swirl of colorful energy, a kaleidoscope of vague but sparkling memories. Or perhaps one aggregate memory of the prodigiously powerful generosity I've received in that Hat. A glistening memory which promptly ballooned my insides and lodged a lump of emotion in my throat.
It reminds me of last week's shimmer, when I worked closely with so many generous artistic souls to create a bountiful, inventive dance event supported by a big- spirited audience. All that amplitude made me want to give more, and be more. It's infectious, this generosity gig.
And it's essential. Both to survive and to thrive.
For every single person, there are at some point hurricanes that demolish dreams and the homes that housed them. Or there are struggles to pay the bills. Or the slow drip of daily demands and other storm-tossed seas that we need to travel. When someone's generosity throws us a line, it saves us. Real-time magic.
Once I started to mull over the inspiring notion of generosity, I began to appreciate how we are the beneficiaries of countless generous acts. Some may be small, but all are fundamentally important to how we paint the canvases of our lives. Whether it's someone parenting us or slowing down to let us cross the road or giving us a chance with a job offer or just smiling kindly at us when we trip on the sidewalk, we receive these gifts of generosity and thrive on them all the time.
Then there are the glittering gifts that make our spirits soar. Yessirree, works of art and creativity are products of nobleness, generosity, munificence. Your favorite music that always gives you a lift? The intriguing book you read, the tasty food someone made for you, the flowers growing near the sidewalk? Generosity in action by people sharing themselves and their visions.
Generosity needn't cost us a cent (although that can be cool, too). It just takes a little effort to spend your self.
So, as we stand on the threshold of another season of gratitude and goodwill, recovering from a hurricane, and wrapping up a contentious election time, I'd love to know: What is it that your uniquely beautiful self has to share with this wondrous, but sometimes careworn, world? Or, in the bounteous words of Mary Oliver, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?"
I wish you generosity.