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Generosity In School

vs. stinginess

Managing resources to freely give

To practice Generosity I will:

      • share what I have with others
      • reuse and recycle
      • give of my time and talents
      • praise the qualities I see in others
      • not expect anything in return

 Teacher ‘Appreciation’
– Bill Croskey

Text Red Cross 90999! Donate to help the victims of (Fill in the blank disaster) Visit the Red Cross website! We all hear these pleas. And the help comes in, from all over the states and even other countries. Many Character Qualities from many Months were on display during these responses: Compassion; Dependability; Diligence; Endurance; Flexibility; Gratefulness; Initiative; Loyalty; Orderliness; Patience; Sincerity; and Thoroughness. You can no doubt think of others. Yet it seems that the leading Character Quality portrayed was Generosity. It is said that the pictograph for the word “Crisis” is composed of the symbol for “Danger” + the symbol for “Opportunity.”

Certainly, the disasters provided plenty of Danger but also many Opportunities for Americans (and other nationalities) to be Generous. Generosity (vs Stinginess), is defined as “Managing resources to freely give.” It reminds us to share our bounty, our time and our talents; to recycle; to praise the good in others; and not to expect anything in return. I am sure you would witness much Sharing, Re-Using, Giving with no strings, and Praising the gifts of others during the response to a Crisis. What insights have we gotten about Generosity; what motivates people to show it?

I am reminded of an old movie. Anybody remember Starman, the Jeff Bridges movie from the 1980’s? In it, Bridges plays an alien who visits Earth and takes the form of Karen Allen’s deceased husband. The alien needs the widow’s help in getting back to a spaceship rendezvous. (Why do these guys never land near a space bus station?) Anyway, the trip allows the alien to learn about Earthlings. For example, he learns that traffic lights have meaning. His take on it is that Red means Stop; Green means Go; Yellow means Go Very Fast. More seriously, at the conclusion of the film, he recounts some of what he has learned about the people of Earth. He says, accurately I think, “Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you?… You are at your very best when things are worst.” Nice to believe that, and, I think, it is mostly true. Unfortunately, with disasters we see some of the “Stinginess” as well, with some depressing stories.

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