Practicing generosity not only makes you feel good but also connects you with the essence of who you really are. Generosity is a core virtue in major spiritual and religious traditions.
There is a continual push-pull between our natural generosity, our genuine desire to share and the ego's feeling of lack and its desire to drive a bargain. That's why practicing generosity can be such a boundary-expanding thing to do. Every time we make a genuine offering or even think a generous thought, especially when we can do it for its own sake without thought of reward, it opens us to the loving, abundant, good-natured core of ourselves.
True generosity arises from a sense of rightness strong enough to take you past your ego's comfort zone. Pure generosity is balanced, free from compulsion, and appropriate. It neither bankrupts you nor weakens the recipient. Pure generosity contains no regret.
The practice of generosity confronts us on several levels. It tests our trust in abundance. It tests our ability to empathize with others. And it calls us on our sense of separation. The more "different" we feel from other people, the harder it will be to give freely. The more we recognize that we are one and that other people's happiness is as important as ours, the more easily we can offer what we have.
At the same time, acting generously strengthens our feeling of connectedness to the rest of the world. That is the true fruit of practicing generosity.
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” - John Wesley