Throughout most cultures and societies generosity has been considered (and still so nowadays) a positive quality of human character. Even people who are not or do not regard themselves as generous if honest enough would often admit to admire and appreciate this quality in other people. Going beyond the purely historic and traditional perception of generosity as a virtue which many people take for granted, it might be interesting to think how this quality is useful not only to the recipient of generosity but to the one who actually shows generosity.
To start with, in the present context “generosity” will be defined in a more general way as the „act or attitude of giving“. This is because here we mean generosity not only in its materialistic or financial expression. Generosity is rather an attitude of being ready and willing to give without demanding or expecting something in return. Imagine a simple situation where you are having a morning café in the neighborhood and there is a person sitting alone on a nearby table with a sad face. You do not know anything about that person and you do not have any personal attraction, interest or curiosity about him. You have no personal reason whatsoever. Just because he happens to be sad you happen to be there you take the step to join him and try to cheer him up. Generosity might be as simple as that.
Going back to the subject of benefits it might seem that there is contradiction. On one hand we defined generosity as giving without demand or expectations but on the other hand we talk about generosity being beneficial to the one who gives. How do we reconcile those two ideas? The answer to this question relates to our psyche. What is the necessary prerequisite of “giving”? First of all, you cannot give something which you feel that you do not have. Secondly, you can afford to give only that for which you feel you have enough. Further on, what is the definition of „enough”? The definition is completely subjective and can be specified only in the context of the individual perception. The thing is that it is exactly the perception of „having enough” that is closely associated with one’s personal feeling of happiness, harmony and well-being. Vice versa “not having enough” оr the “poverty mentality” is the origin of stress, dissatisfaction or even depression. Perceptions and mental attitudes, however, can be subject to willful change and it is exactly what we earn for ourselves automatically when we manifest generosity in any kind. By being continuously generous, we reaffirm to ourselves „I have enough abundance and for that reason I can share with others because there will always be enough left for me”.
Some traditional spiritual teachings and also new-age gurus talk about the Law of attraction or “you get what you give out”. By being generous, generosity will flow back to you. Being kind to others reaps the result of others being kind to you. However, it is not necessary that you believe in such metaphysical statements. From purely psychological point of view, the subjective feeling of “abundance” which you actively train by being generous will help you be more at peace with yourself in general, because the personal experience that we call “my life” is nothing but a subjective perception of a reality that only seems to be outwardly objective.

Author's Bio: 

Rossen Zotkov