The Essence of Generosity

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Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness (The Dalai Lama XIV). Decades ago, resources were being distributed to different places through trading. Scarcity was not a problem yet and people were living their lives to the fullest – people owned big farms to supply the community with their poultry, cattle and other needs, flourishing gardens for vegetables and fruits, and enjoying the abundance of resources the environment has to offer.

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In today’s societal condition, two of the world’s major problems were overpopulation and resource depletion due to climate change. As stated by Jackson, A. (2017) climate change is the most serious problem affecting the world today – nearly 48.8% of the survey participants chose climate change as their main concern and 78.1% of them are willing to change their lifestyles. The number of people had an increase and the available resources were decreasing due to the deteriorating condition of the environment – making it even harder to compete for the resources available. However, despite of the problems, such as resource depletion, the society’s currently facing, there were still people who expresses their inner kindness and loving nature through the generous act of giving.

Generosity’s known as a person’s quality of being kind towards others, especially those who are in need – an innate virtue of human beings. Primarily because of the abundance of goods that other people lack, or maybe because of helping others was innate in humans. It has not only been viewed as an innate quality of a human being, but rather a practice of those who have a higher quality of life. Considered as an obligation for some, but on the constructive side, it has given people a higher level of morality and reputation. Being generous meant showing readiness to give more of something such as money as well as time. Even people who have nothing much to offer tend to give or offer help to others, knowing what they go through and knowing how it was to go through scarcity. They also know how difficult it was to be stuck in the situation of people who really have nothing – no property, no family, and even nothing to eat. Through these tough times, people expressed their empathy by engaging into generous acts – either through donations, volunteering one’s services, or just by simply offering one’s support. According to Tutu, D. (2006) generosity is the main essence of humanity. Being able to reach out and help others justifies the essence of what being a human is.

Volunteers exhibit generosity, which was widely recognized to have an association on specific psychological factors owing to feed one’s diverse psychological needs for a better well-being. These factors included, being innately charitable, having an impact to an individual’s “giving behavior”, being constitutively helpful and being able to show true empathy to people, institutions, society, as a whole, volunteerism as an act of willingness and initiation, and the ingrained happiness and the joy of being empathic. These factors touched an individual’s psyche and instigates one’s psychological needs that had to be met and fulfilled. As stated by Rao (2013), having classmates from the lower class of the society supplements other student’s prosocial behavior, which was measured through the student’s history of actively participating and volunteering in events for a charitable cause at school. In the study, the sample schools offered opportunities for students to engage in charitable causes and fundraising events and activities that involves attending two school afternoons that aims to raise funds for disadvantaged children. The researchers found that having poor classmates increased the student’s sharing, and having poor study buddies increased the student’s volunteering, significantly. Also, they found out that having disadvantaged students mixed with the wealthier students in the classrooms increases the wealthy student’s “willingness to play” with the disadvantaged students. It increased the prosocial behavior of the wealthy students and at the same time, it seemed to decrease discrimination among the two social classes inside and outside the classroom. Thus, justifying that exposure to people with less resources tend to increase one’s prosocial behavior and generosity and that being constitutively helpful and showing true empathy to people who are in need, pictures a wholesome image of a person or an organization who administers charities or other voluntary acts to help provide and improve other’s unstable wellness in life

On the other hand, generous behaviors reap benefits for the person exhibiting it. According to the literatures gathered by the researchers, these were some of the benefits gained from executing generosity. It included the areas of cognitive development, happiness, and empathic joy.

Among the things that were stated, happiness was one of the benefits that could be gained from generosity. Some people’s happiness depended on other people’s happiness, on how much they can make them happy or how much they can be able to provide what other people need. The ability to think about other people was a sign of personal growth and maturity, and symbolized strength for a person, which then led to happiness and satisfaction for oneself and for others.

What made this study unique from all the other researches regarding the experiences of volunteers, was the fact that the researchers focused on the benefits gained by the people who engaged themselves in charitable acts such as volunteerism rather than the benefits gained by those who received from the charitable act. Therefore, this study helped the researchers take a closer look as to why people keeps on engaging themselves into volunteerism and if their reasons does contribute positively on them – may it be intellectual or psychological growth, moral stability, and even through their social relationships. Thus, through the experiences of the volunteers and generosity’s impact on the entirety of a human’s well-being, this study also explored the association between helping a person through a charitable act and being helped back by gaining experiences that affected one’s well-being. 

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The Essence of Generosity. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from
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