Posts tagged ‘Generosity’

August 3, 2015

Designing a life worth sharing

by Rod Smith

Try to be the most generous person you know.

Surely you want to be?

I do.

This is not about possessing abundant resources but it is about being generous with what you do have.

If your life lacks joy you might find, on closer examination, that you’ve been unnecessarily tightfisted.

Meanness is draining. It’s shortsighted.

A lack of joy can be annoying got people who think of themselves “powerful” and entitled to be happy.

Try to be the kindest person you know.

Surely you want to be?

I do.

This is about leveraging opportunities for others and seeking the highest possible good for all within your sphere of influence.

Little is as wearisome as the continual need to negotiate with unkind people – especially if they are in positions of influence.

Don’t be one of them.

I am trying not to be.

Try to be the lowest-maintenance person you know.

I want to be.

This is not about accommodating poor treatment. It is about dropping any sense of entitlement and demanding behavior. Being entitled and demanding denies such a person an experience of authentic community.

It’s hard to let a bully in.

Don’t be one.

December 23, 2008

The challenge to make someone’s Christmas….

by Rod Smith

dsc_0642My father, E. W. G. Smith, loved Christmas. We could get him into a Father Christmas suit anytime of the year. He and Jimmy Ross, the jazz pianist and our neighbor, would use the same old and tattered suit and visit each others children with old pillowcases thrown over their backs – even in August.

Come Christmas Eve and dad would sing about the “little boy that Santa Clause forgot.” Real tears would stream down his face. I knew he was crying for his own lost boyhood. I knew he was the boy that Santa Clause forgot, and I knew he was the boy who went home to “last year’s broken toys.”

He did something about his own deprivation by providing for others: I vividly recall my father packing large boxes of groceries from the shelves of his general dealer shop in Blackburn Road and placing them anonymously on the doorstep of a family he knew to have hit hard times.

And now, all these years later, I challenge you to seize the day. Go ahead, get out there, and make someone’s Christmas through exercising your own deep desire for generosity – I know it is in there, it comes with the human package.

November 16, 2007

Portrait of a successful or enriched man…

by Rod Smith

Call me...

Call me...

1. Enriched is the man who treats others with kindness beyond their deserving. He is generous with family and strangers and he seeks the highest good for all, knowing that the wisdom he exercises in his daily life positively impacts people around him. He regards faithfulness with high regard. The very thought of betraying his family by committing some moral indiscretion deeply unsettles his peace.
2. Enriched is the man who does not play “one-up” games. He applauds the success of others. He takes no delight in the hardships, losses, or pain others endure. He is more committed to being patient, kind and hardworking, than he is committed to being rich or to displaying symbols of success.
3. Enriched is the man who would rather lose at a sporting event than he would cheat in order to appear to have won. While he can be fiercely competitive and loves to win, he watches his behavior, and treasures his reputation.
4. Enriched is the man who can drink without becoming drunk; enjoy good humor without resorting to the ridicule of others.
5. Enriched is the man who pauses momentarily, quite regularly, in order to acknowledge his joy at being a man. He treasures his role as one who carries love, truth and kindness to all within his circle of influence.
6. Enriched is the man who can delay gratification in all areas of his life. He does not crave gratification when is is at the cost of damaging his relationships, his finances or his integrity.