nothing at all wrong with wanting to be known by others as
being a generous person. I would love to have such a
reputation. Unfortunately, though, reputations cost
something to develop, and I'm usually not able to pay the
price to gain a legitimate reputation for something such
as being generous. It's not that I don't want to pay
the price; it's more like I'm not able.
We can be generous with time, with money, with goods, with
food. We can share anything and everything that we
have, including wisdom and cars and ice cream. But
sharing is one thing, and being generous is something
else. Generosity comes from the heart, and the
person who is truly generous doesn't think at all about
the returns of what he or she is giving. That's
something that I'm still unable to do at least half the
time--very often I do think of the returns on what I'm
giving, which makes my giving much less of an act of
generosity and more of an act of self-interest.
I believe that true generosity is something that we work
towards our whole lives long. I'm not ashamed to say
that I'm interested in returns because that's the way I've
learned to give throughout my life, and I definitely am
working myself away from that attitude; I'm simply not
there yet. I have a ways to go, and that's okay.
I know that whatever reputation I have, I must earn.
I can earn a reputation for generosity only by being truly
generous, and one day I hope to be there. For now, I
think I have a reputation for being fairly generous,
because that's all I've earned. When I learn to
truly give with all my heart and without thought of
recompense, then I'll be able to start earning a
reputation for generosity. And it won't come cheap,
but at that point I won't care about that.