LePellian Dictionary — “generous”

We’re working on some terms from my website/blog title again:  I’m reminding you readers out there to contribute a comment– I’m still wedded to collaboration on these definitions, really I am…really, really really, I am, really I am… open to collaboration, I would never think, even for  moment that I, solely understand these words completely, that I am solely responsible for the content of my LePellian dictionary,  why would I think that?  Certainly I would never, ever think, that I…

Enough of that–in faith, I do want your thoughts …

So here we go:  Generous.  Adjective.  A state of being.  “To be humble is to be generous of spirit.”  Generous means that we have a capacity to give to others.  This may take a material form, I suppose…we’ve got some extra dough, so here…take a hundred bucks…or a hundred cents… But for me, it connotes a place of giving, which is only earned by having one’s own material and emotional needs met to a satisfactory degree.  I know…it won’t last people, it won’t last… but a few moments here and there, perhaps we are not going out in the world trying to get our needs taken care of, but truly have the capacity to give to someone else.  To give a nod, a handshake, a handout, a word, maybe two,  that is intended to make that person feel…what?  better.  for the moment.  To say,  “I love you” without needing to hear it in return.  To be content to have nothing in return… to be content and even inspired to give someone a part of yourself without expectation, without demand…  Some people are more generous by nature than others,  I have witnessed it.  But it is rare.  Most of us might call ourselves generous… we work to better society, we work to take care of others,  to improve the world at large…but can we lose our ego for a moment and give something we don’t want in return.  Instead of “treating others as we would want to be treated,”   can we treat others with kindness, with gifts of ourselves purely because we are called to so, called by god, or by nature, or from within?    This is some kind of step toward love.

Hmmm… your thoughts today?  don’t worry, you don’t have to be generous, or feel generous, or even think about being generous…

7 thoughts on “LePellian Dictionary — “generous”

  1. Trumpled Spilt Gin says:

    Sounds to me like you WANT to give us this blog and would be fine with the expectation of getting nothing in return; however, then practically insisting on getting responses. Make up your mind and mind your make up. Do you need to write or do you need to please? Reminds me of an old adage my jeweler told me in high school when I was going to have a bracelet engraved for my girlfriend. “Do right (R-I-G-H-T) and fear no man. Don’t write (W-R-I-T-E) and fear no woman.” By following this sage advice, I have skirted more bodies of hot water than I dare imagine. But if all you want is a little response, now and then I will try to accommodate.

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    1. rachellepell says:

      Touche. I hope I lean more toward “inviting” than “insisting” but ahh, we receive language so differently from each other… “Do you need to write or do you need to please?” is always a zinger for those who make art. To be free of wanting to please others altogether is, perhaps,superhuman, to which I make no claim. However, when wanting to please overrides all other shreds of motivation, we run into trouble…truth can be overtaken by sentiment and insecurity. Good for you to have skirted those bodies of hot water…I hope you have found some warm bodies of water to comfort you over time… Did your girlfriend like getting a bracelet with no engraving? In the meantime, the kind of generosity, I was writing about, a kind of transcendence, is not easy to experience; we’re more often down in the trenches playing in the mud with the rest of the pigs.

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  2. Paul T Thompson says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to give to others, truly. First discovering Buddhism I realized that the nature of ego makes all actions self – serving, especially the ones aimed to please inner gods. A generous person, under this understanding, is one whom, while pleasing (gods within) themselves, pleases me with their effect.

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    1. rachellepell says:

      Ahh yes. Self-serving…maybe you’re right, serving one’s own sense of generosity is only self-serving. Round and round. In pop psyche lingo, it may just translate: helping yourself gives you more capacity to help others, again, round and round? Thanks for the thoughts on this, more soon I hope

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  3. Silverfox says:

    I found this statement very disconcerting: “To be humble is to be generous of spirit.” Generous means that we have a capacity to give to others.”

    I struggle with words. Words like generosity and gratitude. I always start with the etymology of a word. Gratitude is one of those words that pisses me off–its roots connected to “grace.” The idea that I don’t deserve life and breath for myself, that something else made me, created me, put me here, and that the wonders of everything I have and am, I have been “given” just because that something else feels like it. I am, in myself, not worthy of it on my own. I and everyone and everything that exists must be grateful for everything, even the terrible, sad, horrible, terrible things that happen to me and every living thing that exists. Yeah, gratitude. I really haave a tough time with it. Because of “grace.” Your take on generosity suggests that out of what I have (when it’s enough) comes a willingness to share.

    In my mind, right now, the real deal is this: we live in a universe that sucks us all dry. It trades us moments of joy and beauty and truth for anguish and terror. It enables us to be creatures of violence to one another with no holds barred as well as create incredible things and experience joy with no true agency. Why on earth do I have to be grateful? (Check out all the research on gratitude!) Generosity in this paradigm is a willingness to be there for each other and living forms despite the shit, and to live in the full realization that that trade (shit for being there) is all there is. Interestingly, in Buddhist thought the willingness to care or love in this way–to reduce suffering and bring all lviing beings to englightenment is the commitment of a bodhisattva. And, I am struck at how aligned your ideas (all pickiness about connotations and word use aside) are with that commitment.

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  4. rachellepell says:

    I love the depth of this response; your words ring with passion and felt experience that furthers my own. I am not writing as much right now as I plan to later, but I want you to know that your time and energy here means a lot to me. More soon, I hope.

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