Although the Latin root of the word means “of noble birth,” by no means is generosity limited to people in positions of power. While it is typically the high-profile people who are in the news for their generosity, anyone can become more generous simply by paying attention to his actions. According to Emmanuel Levinas, the French philosopher, a generous person will display these qualities even if they know the people or group he is helping is not going to do the same in return.
First and foremost, generous people are altruistic. They give without hopes of receiving compensation for their good deeds. Personal gain may occur, but it is not a motivating factor for the most generous people.
Generous people are idealists. They have a certain image of the way the world should be, and strive to achieve that end. Although the world is not a perfect place, these people do not stop giving their time, energy or money. As optimists, they see the world in a different light than others. They truly believe that the world, although not perfect, can be made into a much better place.
Trust is a major quality amongst the most generous people. They trust completely that their cause is a worthy one, and they trust that the people involved with that cause will do their best to help achieve the goal. For those who give, this means a trust that the others involved with the cause will be using their time and resources appropriately.
When you think of people being generous, energy is one of the first things that come to mind. These individuals devote their energy to the good that they want to do. They also gain energy from their cause. When the most generous people spend their time working on a goal, they are revitalized and energized to do even more good.
Ability to lead
This quality might seem to be an odd one at first, but the most generous people are not afraid to stand up and lead for their cause. Although not everyone can actually lead their group or cause, this does not discount these individuals’ leadership ability. Getting involved is in itself a form of leadership.
The most generous people share these qualities to differing degrees. If you are concerned with increasing your own level of generosity, these factors will get you started in the right direction.