Another form of Generosity

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Robbie is a successful businessman who donates generously to religious organisations and charities. However, in business, he is like a different person all together. He squeezes his employees and suppliers resulting is high employee turnover and frequent supply shortages. Because he has a bad temper, he is usually inconsiderate on the road and rude to others.

If we merely look at Robbie’s charitable activities, we would see him as a generous person. However, this is just one aspect of his life. There is another form of generosity which involves having a generous character; one which exudes forgiveness, kindness and consideration towards others in our daily life. We need to do so because Divinity exists in everyone. Donating to religious organisations while disrespecting others implies that One only sees the Divine in temples, ashrams and churches but not in other living beings. This is clearly inconsistent with the teachings of enlightened beings.

Being kind and forgiving in our daily life may be a more difficult type of generosity to practice compared to merely donating to religious organisations and charities. It is a form of spiritual practice because we need to develop a high level of awareness/perception in order to consistently remain considerate to and patient with others. We need to be aware when we are in a bad mood and make greater effort to keep the smile on our face instead of using our bad mood to justify our impatience with others. When others are rude to a person with a generous character, he will not respond back with anger or irritation. He will remain calm and friendly.

woman holding heart cut out

Having a generous character will enable One to consistently accumulate merits and good karma every day. The mind is creative because it is part of the Divinity that exist in everything. When we are kind to others, they will wish us well and bless us with positive creative energies. If we are inconsiderate and rude to others, their anger will direct negative creative energies at us. Simple acts of kindness like holding the lift for others, letting others pass on the road, following the rules out of consideration of others instead of fear of being caught, keeping the toilet clean and so on, are actions which shows that One recognises the Divinity within others and is serving the Divine by serving others.

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