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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

The Scope of Our Generosity

Generosity improves every situation, and every situation is an opportunity to be generous. There are so many ways to be generous, and so, there is no limit to the scope of our generosity.

One of my passions is reading biographies. I love taking in the whole arc of a person’s life. I find it helps me to gain perspective on the highs and lows of my own life.

I was reading a biography of Robert Redford recently, and the author had interviewed many of the actors who had worked with Redford over the course of his career, both as an actor and director. One of the actors described Redford as a generous director. I thought that was an interesting description. The actor went on to explain that most directors just tell you how they want a scene done and then expect you to do it that way. “But Redford would ask you to do it the way he envisioned it, and then he would say, ‘OK, now let’s do another take and try it your own way.’ It was a very generous way of directing.”

I found that fascinating. There is a way to be generous in everything we do.

When I reflect on the most generous people I know, I discover their generosity manifests itself in different ways every day. Their generosity in the traditional ways is to be expected. They are generous with their time and talent, with their money and possessions, but their generosity goes way beyond these commonly defined areas. It is the scope of their generosity that is particularly inspiring to me.

So, here is today’s generosity habit.

What is it that you know more about than anything else in the world? Whatever it is, don’t belittle your expertise, and don’t keep it to yourself. Find a way to teach your expertise to someone else. Share it with the world. There is someone right now who needs you to teach them what you have spent a lifetime learning.

Matthew Kelly

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