Once we did a group discussion with a lot of parents about what we wanted in a perfect school for our daughter. The discussion leader asked us to name those qualities that we most encouraged and wanted for our kids. For me it wasn’t hard. I value generosity above almost everything. Generosity of spirit and the more direct, share what you’ve got (time, energy, money, stuff) kind. It’s a goal I set for myself.
Lynn Viehl at Paperback Writer doesn’t talk about generosity, but she sure acts on the principle. I’ve been watching her give away books for a year. She gives books away like other people give away advice. She sends them to soldiers stationed overseas (something I’ve done once, but really should do more often). If you’re reading this, well heck, there’s a good chance she sent you a book.*
Somebody suggested I talk about those causes and charities that I support. I can do that, as I concentrate on a short list and it wouldn’t be hard to put together. But really this is not about what or how much, it’s about living with your hands and spirit open to the world. And remember me: I’m the agnostic. No belief in a higher power. No spirituality (the word even makes me cringe). But a determined belief in the possibility of good.
*Full disclosure: Lynn has taken a liking to my books and gives them away too. Which is very, very good of her, of course, but irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. But this isn’t: Lynn doesn’t accept anything in return, not even a signed book for herself. See? Generosity.