We talked about generosity today in group, and one of the stories shared made me think of my own practices on that subject. I’m not as generous as I probably should be. In fact, I might be a little stingy and selfish. Sometimes I don’t particularly mind this aspect of myself, other times, I see it as a glaring problem. We have so many homeless that populate our town that it’s difficult to go out in public without at least seeing someone walking down the street who is obviously living the transient lifestyle. So in a way there’s a numbing affect by living here. But, there’s also a lot of people who are asking for someone to give and this is where I have a hard time.
There’s a particular spot, a very busy spot, that many people like to sit with their signs while cars wait for the light to change. I don’t want to stare at the person, but I feel really weird ignoring them. I’ve watched other people give and wonder why I’m not too. There’s all kinds of arguments as to why someone should or shouldn’t give money. My supervisor shared something that someone said to her once about giving money to the sign-holders: “If you need to know where your money is going, you probably shouldn’t be giving it.” I do agree that we shouldn’t begrudge the person who is receiving the money, that a gift should be given with a cheerful heart, not one that resents and questions the motives and plans of the recipient. But I think that way of thinking can also hinder the person’s ability to give, making it more of a crutch and an excuse to keep your own money. I don’t know. I’m just venting here, not really sure where I stand with the whole subject. I do know that I should be giving of myself more often than I am.