Generosity in the World

ITP Palo Alto has been meeting every Saturday morning for 20 years. We take turns presenting programs. Since our community is a safe space, the presenter often chooses a topic that will help them uncover and explore their personal shadow (their unconscious).

When I first accepted this invitation to write about “Generosity in the World,” I thought “this should be an easy article to write. I spend all my time volunteering for non-profit groups.” As I started to write this article, I could feel that I was not balanced, vital, and healthy in my relationship to Generosity in the World and there was a deeper issue that needed to be addressed, a shadow, some gold that needed to be mined. So, I turned this article into an ITP Palo Alto Program.

I started by feeling into my heart, and finding that my ideal of Generosity in the World is “To say yes. To help others who are less fortunate than me and to leave the world in a better condition as a result of my efforts,” which I learned from my father. As I deepened the exploration of my excessive volunteering, I realized it was tied to my notions of honoring my father’s legacy. This led to my current affirmation “I honor my father’s legacy while being balanced, vital, and healthy.” I expect this affirmation will evolve as I mine more gold buried in the shadow.

Here are some questions for journaling, dyads, and larger group discussions:

  • What drives your impulse to be Generous in the World?
  • Are you selective in who receives your time, treasures, and talents?
  • What is stopping you from being more generous?
  • Is your generosity balanced, vital, and healthy?
  • Do you believe that it is better to give than to receive? Why?