A speaker at a conference I attended advised people to give people anything they asked for a day and watch what happened inside and out. He was encouraging people to play around with the idea of generosity.

Generosity is one of the Buddhist paramitas. The way I learned it, and there are three types of generosity.

  1. Stuff – you can give money or other material things.
  2. Attitudes – you can approach life with fearlessness and other positive perspectives as a gift to the people around you.
  3. Information – (traditionally: Dharma) you can teach people what you know.

In Buddhist thought, the lines separating you from me are artificial. There is no sense that if I give you some I will have less. What I have, I can share. (At the same time, teachers warn against “idiot compassion.” It’s not necessarily a good idea to give all you can give.

In your journal:

  • What might change if you saw everyone (including yourself) as parts of one great organism?
  • What stuff do you give now? How do you feel about it? Would you like it to change?
  • What attitudes are you communicating? How do you feel about it? Would you like it to change?
  • How and what do you teach?
  • “Generosity is…”