Generous relationships

Do you all know what generosity is? People get up in the morning; they have a family—they love, they love the family. Are they generous with them? Do you tell your family, “I love you”? Even smile for them?

“Where’s my breakfast!?” Wife: “You’re late!” Kids: “Daddy, we need some money.” “I don’t have any. Go to school!” “All right, I’ll see you later—bye!”

“Bring back some bananas when you’re coming home.”

And then you walk away from your house—and you meet the man who opens the doors: “Good morning.” And you say, “Good morning!”—like you know him. Like he even cares! He has been told, as part of his job, “Open the door in the morning and say ‘good morning’ to everybody that’s coming through here. Be nice.”

He’s being nice because he’s being paid. The question is, why are you being nice? You’re not being paid. You should have been nice at home—and you weren’t! But now you’re meeting a total stranger who you will probably never meet again, and you are completely ready to just…. Just shy of saying, “My long-lost love.” Why?

Is this generosity? No, that’s good manners! Good manners have nothing to do with generosity. “Manners” is one thing; generosity is another! Generosity—to the one you love, you give love! You give love! You understand that love. You feel! That’s generosity.

Because nobody is more hungry for your attention than your children! And when you give that, that’s generosity—not “the duty of a father or mother.” When, to your friend, you give friendship, that is generosity. Because that’s what a friend should give—of friendship!

When, as a human being, you treat another as a human being, that is generosity.

– Prem Rawat