In today’s society where everything is instant, people are out for “number one”, and giving to charity is more for the tax breaks than the gift of giving, generosity is a lost virtue. Distrust seems to be more common than gratitude and many question the nature behind the act of being generous.
I was raised in a home where acts of charity were blessings delivered at just the right time. In second grade someone swooped in to pay my private school tuition- an act of anonymous generosity- so I wouldn’t have to switch schools because of cost. As an adult I still remember trying to wrap my seven year old brain around why someone I didn’t even know would do something so kind.
My life is filled with generous people. When Ehron and I first moved into our home, we didn’t have a washer and dryer, and realistically couldn’t afford new appliances while paying rent at two places and juggling our new marital demands (read: bills, commuting, and more bills). A sweet woman with whom I worked told me her parents had a dryer for us, which they gave to us for free. At just the right time they had this dryer available, and their kindness still warms my heart (and my clothes). While I was pregnant I desperately needed a haircut. A mention of this on Facebook led to a free haircut from a lovely girlfriend of mine at her incredibly posh salon. Without this generous gift, I would have never otherwise had the funds or the guts to enter the doors of Jamison Shaw.
Anyone that knows my mom and dad will know that “giving” is their favorite, much like “smiling” is Buddy the Elf’s favorite. My parents would give their children the clothes off their backs to make sure we stayed warm. My siblings and I can say without a doubt that our parents have kept us afloat many a time. Between “grocery shopping” in their pantry, sweetly worded, hand written cards with a $20 bill folded between the page, and all the time they have sacrificed, my parents deserve some kind of award. They instilled this in my brothers and sisters.
Amidst all the noble, virtuous people, I still feel petty. I worry that my home isn’t clean enough or decorated properly. I look at my skin and feel disgusted, and assume everyone else around me thinks the same. I am jealous. I am fickle. I feel undeserving of the love lavished on me time and again.
My sisters are all quite good at this “decorating the home” thing. Each has her own style, her own eye for certain pieces, or a way of putting together a room in such a way that I will never be able to do. One sister in particular finds the best deals on gorgeous things for the home. Tonight she sent me a text to let me know she was bringing me new clothes and things for my house. Waves of emotion hit me when she told me this, and I’m still tearing up even as I type. She is so generous and so giving! It floors me. I live in the small, selfish world of my mind and there are people that love me enough to go shop for me, to put forethought into an action that’s both time consuming and bank account- draining.
Captain Laser Pants is generous with his kindness. He is tender with his words. My sisters are generous with their time. They invest in our relationships, travel to visit me and little Gwinn, bring us cupcakes and treats for much needed pick- me- ups. They encourage me. My mom and dad are generous with their constant, unwavering love. They give when I hate to ask. Our friends are generous with their patience and understanding as we test the waters with a new baby. They brush off my concerns of him crying with a casual wave. The giving that surrounds me is overwhelming.
I want to be a more generous person. I want to be more generous with my words. To be more encouraging, more loving, more giving- these are virtues I want to embody now so my son learns them and benefits from what it means to have a generous family, just like I did.
Thank you friends and family, for your generosity. I am so, so very grateful for the love you lavish upon us.