Being Generous Regardless of Circumstance

When people think about generosity, a person who gives of their time or money often comes to mind. As Alpha Sigma Alphas, we are likely to think about money we have raised for our four philanthropic partners and we think about volunteering at Special Olympics, a Girls on the Run 5k or D.O.T. Days. While giving time and money is practicing generosity, there are acts we perform in our everyday lives that are also generosity. 

If you are anything like me, time and financial restrictions are a road block to being as generous as I would like to be. It is important to remember that generosity presents itself in many ways though. Many of us do not give ourselves credit when we can make simple, fast changes to our routines for living this core value. Here are some ways I’ve seen and practiced generosity outside of donating time and money:

Generosity in families

How many of you are single mothers, working mothers or mothers who are going to school full or part time?  For better or worse, I fit into all of the above. When we juggle all of these responsibilities some of us find that we may need to make time to connect and be emotionally available and generous with our children and loved ones. This can look like cooking a favorite meal and eating at the dining room table, starting routines with our children such as reading a book each night or a check-in ritual with your teenager, regular date nights, a scheduled phone call to parents or siblings or device-free time.  

Generosity in friendships

All of us are familiar with The Golden Girls and the line “Thank you for being a friend”. When we think about our friendships, good memories like trips, weddings and the birth of children come to mind. Sometimes our friends need us in other ways. Those times we stop what we are doing and talk to them because we know they are going through a rough patch in life. The little things we go out of our way to do like sending dinner over to them because they have been busy, watching their children or giving them a ride are show generosity with our presence and resources.  

Generosity at work

We often sense when coworkers may be struggling or are afraid to ask for help when they have been giving an important assignment. Work environments can be difficult to navigate. When we take the time to encourage a new coworker, make copies for someone who is short on time, buy lunch out of the blue for someone and contribute to all of those fundraisers from co-worker’s children and clubs whose order forms get passed around -you are being generous.

Let’s not shortchange ourselves on thinking we are not generous enough. Think about all the times when we are and all the things we can do if we want to do more.  It’s not “one more thing” on our plate, rather one more thing we do to joyously live each day to its ultimate good.

-Leslie Lowery
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