Which is better, courage or generosity?
The Sufi master replied,
Those who are generous, have no need for courage.
– Gulistan Saadi
While it may seem that the world is on a roller coaster of anger, unrest, and fear, in truth, the emotional ride will someday get easier and screech to a halt. Of course, the word “seem” is a massive understatement. Our anxieties and emotional distress are valid; however, we need to hear that we are all part of one tribe and can choose to reject uncharitable habits, intolerance, cruelty, and injustice that thrive on fear. Preferably, we need to muster the courage to control our apprehensions. Consequently, what we need to do is to re-examine the word courage and what it entails.
Now, taking apart the attributes of courage, whether it is acts of heroism, taking personal risks, being an inspiration, self-sacrifices, or speaking against injustices, the pulse of this transformative power beats on the spirit of generosity. You see, it is not that complicated; we are all facing turbulent times, the thunders of fear strike our emotional wellbeing and clouds our judgments. But if we explore deep into our fears, we come to realize that the emotional complexities can be washed away by cultivating an attitude of generosity.
“We are not the survival of the fittest, we are the survival of the nurtured.”
These are the words of Louis Cozolino, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. Through research, he demonstrates that an optimistic, empathic, caring, and encouraging environment shapes the brain to adapt and survive. That being the case, tying our Collective prosperity to how our brain is influenced will allow us to orient our sensibilities towards the cornerstone of courage: generosity.
More than ever, we need to open our hearts to be kind, generous, and responsive communicators with mindful behaviors. Here are few insights to create a state of mind that decrease fear and nurture generosity:
1. The first step is to realize our interconnectedness. The notion that we are all one will be the anchor that secures the courage to be generous, which in turn can help bridge our differences.
2. The idea that our common wellbeing is connected miraculously shifts the nervousness, intolerance, and meanness to a tranquil and more connected state of mind. As it follows, a vigilant mode prepares our soul to be noble and charitable. Likely, this state of moral elevation pales our biases and propels us to be helpful and act generously.
3. Repeatedly practice a random act of kindness, from giving a compliment to volunteering your time, making a playlist for a friend, or financial contributions. Bear in mind that moral growth is attained if your generosity is not based on reciprocal obligations or duties, ideally attached to a higher purpose.
“Do a good deed and throw it in a river
One day it will be given back to you in the desert”. – Rumi
4. Do not wait for the right time or future accomplishments to be generous. You do not have to be in a good mood or rich to be helpful. You do not know how and to what extent your contribution, whatever way it may be, can change someone’s life for the better at a particular time.
On a final note, being generous to other people despite the possibility that your good deed goes unappreciated or ignored should not stop you from being of service to others. No matter how wrong are their assumptions or their unpleasant treatments ruffle you, keep the good spirit elevated since your mindset and your generosity anchored in higher purpose should not be compromised for ignorance.