All duty, all the time, without ever reaching for “the extra mile,” never going “above and beyond,” never giving “110%” as it were, always “phoning it in.”
Imagine writing only in cliche’ with never any original thought or communication.
I’m serious. Picture it. Take a moment and imagine that world. Your work, your relationships, your play without innovation, without any striving for more, where we keep our kids alive and our bills paid and sink into an ever increasing landscape of grey and muted tones. It’s a place where the volume always gets turned down. Or worse, when it internalizes. Where we do just enough to not be fired. Or divorced. Putting in just enough effort to not be left completely alone. To give just enough to stop people noticing our lackadaisicality.
What an awful, mud covered, tasteless, lifeless, boring, joyless, foul-smelling reality that one would be.
Generosity isn’t just about money. Though some folks right now could use your help if you’re able - click here for COVID-19 support. It is about time and heart and intention. It is about a life-long stance of giving more than you take and being more than a mouth breathing collection of particles swirling around like a lump. That’s more for me than for you by the way.
Real generosity is an internal position of the soul.
And it’s one that we desperately need to be healthy… and one that we desperately need to find any sustainable sense of righteousness or joy. We need to strive, to lean, to push, to climb, to give, to risk and to get back up after falling down again.
Generosity isn’t just about money. That’s a symptom and an expression, but not the heart or central urge. It’s about giving gifts of time and gifts of attention; gifts of the cherry on top; gifts of the great conversation. Those things cost us something, but the returns are legendary. Think about the landscape of where you are right now. In context, in relationships, in life. And do this for me, would you?
Don’t be afraid. Decide to not be afraid.
No really. Stop being so afraid of that new thing you’re thinking of, and all the trouble it will be and if you fail it won’t be worth it and Netflix is calling you to fix a plate of nachos and check out.
Don’t mishear what I’m saying. A life well spent will frame and rest and will protect margin with both hands. You will find greatness in rhythm and groove. It is also necessary to take a day off and enjoy your vacation.
But don’t forget to say “no” to the cruise control and put the pedal to the floor occasionally. Go for it!
Because Generosity, in our dreaming and execution, in our friendships and love, in our work and play… in our inside and out… is Necessary.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (emphasis mine)