Long term generosity is a mindset choice. When you are a generous person you think differently. When asked to describe what it means to be extremely generous we often think of someone that gives away everything they have. It’s the person that sells everything they have, empties their pockets of every dollar, and lives in a van down by the river. The truth is that to be a generous person for a lifetime, you need to not just give money but also earn money. You cannot give a dollar you do not have. The stories of people that give away all they have are inspiring, admirable stories. They are also not the ones that usually have given the most over time and are then able to be generous again and again. If you feel led to give away all you have, feel free to do so. However, I would not encourage that mindset. Instead, let’s explore what it would look like if you continued to earn and give.
Generous people see money as an infinite resource. Money is not finite. When I earn a dollar, it does not take a dollar permanently out of the money system to never be had by others unless I release it. When a generous person earns a dollar, they know that dollar will benefit not just them but others as well. They are a steward of that dollar and it’s merely flowing through their hands. Money is fluid to generous people. Money does not start and stop, it continually flows. Keep in mind this means that it must flow, like water. Consider it like a comparison to a garden hose in the hot summer sun, if water sits in there it is going to go rancid and isn’t useful to anyone. If you keep that hose flowing with water though, it’s a refreshing gift of joy that has many uses. The water is like the flow of money. Generous people choose not to let the water go rancid, they instead choose to allow the water to flow through and bring great joy to them and others.