Why is generosity so important?
Generosity- a virtue that is hard to find in a person, yet it should be one of the main things a human being should possess. The willingness to give one’s belongings to another being or cause is called generosity. One should not expect anything back in return, instead, they should rejoice in their own good deeds of giving up something for another’s cause. But why is this quality so difficult to find in the people of today’s society?
This world now seems to be shrouded in a dense, vast mist, blocking the light that once shone brilliantly. This mist is greed. Today’s man has a mind of ignorance towards a righteous path. Anything we see, hear, smell, taste, feel or think that seems appealing, we cling. We cling onto these feelings with the false view of happiness in our minds. Perhaps this is true… The only thing is that this happiness we feel in the presence of appealing things is only very temporary along with the rest of this world. Even so, giving seems a hard task to most.
Why should we practice generosity?
The world grows older, and along with it, our minds cling evermore. As the time of the Supreme Buddha dwindles farther from us, our divine teacher’s instructions follow. Without the Supreme Dhamma, how can anyone ever think of true happiness? Unfortunately, this thought is slowly sinking into reality… Our world today, is in a stage of development where the unnecessary is being brought directly into our lives. With this, comes a powerful, uncontrollable greed. A greed for uncountable things makes giving even the smallest thing something done with regret- how far we have come from a time of abundant generosity.
Some may ask why we should develop generosity. The answer is as simple as it gets. Our world, like any, is well and truly impermanent. Nothing in this world lasts for long. Using generosity, we must make it clear in our minds that what we have now is pointless to be holding on to for the future (the future where we will be long gone and our belongings perished). Giving to another is not only an act of kindness, but also a helpful one- especially when it is to the less fortunate. Giving food to beggars and animals, offering alms to monks and perhaps donating give-able bodily organs to people who need them not only brings a sense of satisfaction, but also great merit- something that can bring true happiness.
What do we achieve in practising generosity?
Even though we do not think of it, the offering of wisdom can also be an act of generosity. Wisdom is the quality of having a good judgement and knowledge. Influencing another, based on this quality is a way of opening them up to better sense of acting and thinking- a far greater outcome than keeping it to yourself. Any person practising generosity should be prepared to give up anything to an extent. It is something that we should work into our minds to escape from the habit of clinging to things. Nothing is permanent, and an act of generosity is a way of driving our minds away from thinking that it is. Whether you choose to be generous is an individual’s choice however, if we want to escape from this endless cycle of birth, it is something that we must get into the habit of…
Written by 14 years old child of the English Dhamma School in Kaduwela Mahamevnawa Meditation Monastery