I relate to many of the points you have shared Sam – thank you – and I very much appreciate Burgs response In relation to ‘less than pure’ generosity.
At the moment my thoughts on generosity and kindness are these –
At times there is just the seeing of a need, swiftly and smoothly followed by an action with virtually no deliberations in between
– A friend arriving from abroad in poor health, with no home, money or job is offered a room in my house.
– My father suddenly requiring radiotherapy means my long- anticipated retreat is cancelled.
These situations seem easy and meeting them is effortless. My kids would call them ‘No brainers’,which is an excellent choice of phrase becauses no thinking seems necessary before a practical response follows. And I am happy with this.
But at other times, in other situations, so many thoughts follow the first generous and kind impulse -‘Can I afford it?’, ‘I really want to spend my time elsewhere’, ‘What is the best thing to do here?’, ‘What are my real motivation?’, ‘What about me!’
Second thoughts followed by third thoughts lead on and on until confusion, dissatisfaction and self judgement show up and the original impulse gets smothered in stuff – causing me unhappiness.
What to do in these situations is my dilemma, as generosity and loving kindness are the two qualities I most want to develop and mature.