Path to Joy: 5th of 12 – Generosity
The heart that gives, gathers.
– Tao Te Ching
Science has found that generosity of mind and spirit as well as time and money does gift givers a lot of good.
Scientific American reported an experiment that studied stinginess. Result: Those who held back experienced heightened shame and cortisol levels. We can also live longer. Read more in The 7 Science-Backed Reasons Why Generosity is Good for Your Health.
Research also shows that those who give time and resources with kind intentions are rewarded with dopamine and endorphin surges, the body’s feel-good and happiness chemicals. Read more in The Benefits of Giving Things Away.
In 1982, as an antidote for the phrase “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty,” Anne Herbert suggested, “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Here are 103 possibilities, which include:
- Share an overheard compliment.
- Send people you know notes about why they’re awesome.
- Leave a big tip.
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Keep in mind,
The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.
— Fred Rogers
This Post’s Featured Art, “Generosity,” A Visual Meditation
What I like best about the picture:
The gold and yellow dots are like gentle sunbeams and rain that shower us freely. The red and white, orange and blue dots are flowers that the rain and sunlight nourish, making life both possible and beautiful.
What the picture teaches:
Nature is a cycle, a circle of giving and receiving. Both are needed for life to flourish.
The insights gained:
Rain and sunlight are price-less. From that generosity, freely given, earth can sprout meadows full of flowers so that life is refreshed, beautiful, bountiful and joy is possible.
Take this six-minute trip to Ireland and see how one act of kindness a day can change your life. View video.
Generosity, kindness, honesty, humor – makes us truly rich.
These ‘Paths to Joy’ are adapted from The Treasure Chest, an old book I found years ago. Page 117 contained “The Twelve Rules of Happiness.” Of special delight is using paints markers and ink to illustrate meditations inspired by this wisdom. The technique is adapted from the book Visual Journaling, Going Deeper Than Words, by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox.
Visit my On-Line Galleries to see more of my art.