Discussing the topic of generosity without seeing the value of expressing our appreciation for the kindness shown to us would be leaving out one of the best ways of living our best life. So many individuals in our life have been generous with their time, treasures and talents. They have been our parents, teachers, friends. Sometimes they are people we barely know and may include those in the service industries, fellow employees or an employer.
Taking the time each day to recognize these individuals who have impacted our lives helps us to have a positive attitude. It is our way of expressing our gratitude. When we express ourselves using words, we are generous, however when we go a little further with a note, small gift, or some other personal expression of our gratitude the recipient soon realizes the impact they have had on us. It makes both of us feel good about sharing our generosity.
I would like to suggest to all students that you express your appreciation for all that your teachers have done for you. In fact, do not wait until the end of the year to make those expressions. Get in the habit of thanking them on a regular basis. What that requires is that we are aware of the impact they are having and appreciating the growth we see within ourselves.
Express your gratitude early and often. That is generosity from your very soul.
All generosity begins with gratitude and knowing there is enough of what we have for everyone. Particularly this is the case with being generous with our time. When we wake up in the morning and have the day ahead of us, this is a gift. Another day of life, time available to use for living fully. I have to wonder how we will use this time? Will we keep it all to fill our needs and pleasures or will we share our time with others by giving in some manner?
Giving our time to others is sharing what the Universe has blessed us with one more moment. Using our time to benefit those around us by helping with the chores in the house, taking the time to listen to a family member and what they need are ways that we can share our time with others. No matter how we use this time, it begins with an appreciation for the day and time provided to us.
If we are awake for 16 hours a day that is 930 minutes. Can we find a few of those minutes to give to others in service to their needs? If we find ourselves saying we do not have time for something or someone, other needs are more important to us than what we are being asked to contribute. Others, especially our children are learning to determine what is important in life by what we as parents give our time and attention. They are learning by watching how we respond to them and others.
When we give our time, doing so with 100% attention tells the other person we are invested in serving them. Time is one of our most valuable assets and sharing it with others is an indication of our growth in the virtue of generosity.
Teaching children to be both!
Generosity is a virtue, a Gift of Character that every child and human have within. Everyone can give to others freely just because they want to do so. Generosity begins with knowing that there is enough for everyone and when we share what is valuable to us there is joy on both sides, for the giver and the receiver.
There is a difference between generosity and charity, though. When we give to those that have any or very few of their treasures that we are practicing charity. When we give and share with others things that we value, are our favorites we are generous. Imagine if you were awakening the gift of generosity in your child you might ask them if they would be “generous and share their stuff toy or blanket with their sibling”? That is generosity!
If you were to give the blanket to someone who was in need of one, you would be practicing charity. As a family, we would like to practice both of these gifts. How can you encourage your child to be generous with their treasures by sharing them with other family members or visiting friends? At the same time, we want to practice charity by giving up treasures that others may be able to use.
Being generous with our things is one way of noticing opportunities to give and share with those we know and are close to us. It is the beginning of learning to discern when those outside our circle of the family are in need and finding it within us to give to them freely also.
Each month we will discuss one life skill with all of our students. This month’s skill is Generosity. This life skill will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: I give to others!
Older students: Giving of one’s time, treasures, and talents without expecting anything in retur.
We are not your typical after school activity, in fact, we are an education center, working with students on physical self-defense skills while empowering families to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – through the martial arts. We believe every child has 52 gifts in them already. They only need to be taught how to grow and use them in their life. Balanced Life Skills serves parents, teachers, and students to reach that goal.
If you would like to see Joe Van Deuren and Balanced Life Skills at work, TRY CLASSES FOR FREE for 2 weeks.