The Concept of Generosity

Topics: Random act of kindness, Acts of the Apostles, Meaning of life Pages: 3 (757 words) Published: January 19, 2015
Hannah Talcovitz
Honors English 10

It’s Not Charity, It’s Not Nobility, It’s Generosity!
When most people think of the word generosity, they think of the Red Cross or Goodwill, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Generosity can be as simple as lending a friend a pencil. Generosity used to be a trait inherited by noble families. But Generosity is a quality that is learned and practiced rather than inherited. Through the years the meaning of generosity has evolved into a trait many worship and yearn to have.

Generosity is not necessarily charity. You don’t have to give to the less fortunate in order to be considered generous. Yes, donating money to SPCA, donating clothes to Goodwill, and working at soup kitchens are all acts of kindness from the heart, but are not generosity. People give to charity because they feel sympathetic to the less fortunate not because they feel like being considerate. There is normally persuasion involved when people become engaged in charity efforts, whether its one of those depressing SPCA commercials with Sarah Mclachlan or the advertisements to end world hunger. If these organizations didn’t receive the publicity they do, then most people would not be concerned about these humanitarian causes. Generous acts should occur without any potency, just by the Goodwill of the person. 

People tend to express generosity for the attention they receive. As Francois de La Rochefoucauld once said, “What we call generosity is for the most part only the vanity of giving; and we exercise it because we are more fond of that vanity than of the thing we give.” La Rochefoucauld is stating that people are generous because they treasure the acknowledgement of others rather than doing it for the greater good. This act of generosity is quite selfish, which is the exact opposite of it. You should not expect to attain anything from being generous. 

Throughout time, the meaning of the word generosity has evolved....
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