“We cannot waste our time believing we can achieve an ideal self or community. All we can do is attempt to live well, in right relation… pursuing a social order that preserves and protects the integrity, resilience, and beauty of everyone…a commitment to generosity and mutuality.” ~ Imani Perry
Some of you may have noticed (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to enhance grateful awareness. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratitude.
We offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open a doorway to gratefully loving the world and finding ways to live accordingly.
Where has community and generosity showed up unexpectedly in my life?
“I had this experience just two days ago, and it remains a fresh, happy place within so that I have joy every time I think of it. I’d reached out for some advice to an online group and was flooded with unexpected replies full of helpful information, generous offers, and such kindness that I was astounded! Now, I want to remember how good that sense of community laced with action felt to me, and be sure to honor others in the same way when a similar situation presents itself.” ~ Cathy
“Because community, and being a part of several communities, is vitally important to me, I cannot recall a time when I suddenly realized that I was in a community. Being in a community requires engagement, giving, receiving, and give and take, so I am always aware of the community I am in and a part of. Generosity, on the other hand, “happens” to me quite frequently. I suspect this is because I value being generous with others in various ways. Generosity for me is reciprocal in nature.” ~ Kevin
“Here for starters. Other online communities. A Redditgifts rematching Santa. The universe handed me $20.00 one morning this week. Literally. Just the realization of how wealthy I am and I’m not even rich in the world’s eyes. I am a lucky woman.” ~ Zenith
“For my answer I am going to assume a definition of community that is supportive, generous, and welcoming — although have not always experienced every community of which I have been a part to be so. Because of my experience, then, I am somewhat surprised when communities actually live into their true definition of generous, welcoming support. Like churches, of which I have been a part all of my life — when they actually do show up at people’s hospital beds to pray; bring food to families they don’t know who are not part of their community, travel miles to build homes for the underserved, or those living in the midst of disaster, or host a wedding or funeral for someone who is outside their homogeneous make-up. Sometimes our chosen communities fail us, but they are made up of people like us. I give thanks for the times mine have shown up for me and for the times I can show up for others — and I give thanks for those in this particular community. You represent a diversity of background and gratitude that enlarges my own every day.” ~ Katrina
“Wherever and whenever I have come across shared hardship — seems to be where and when the conditions become ripe for the type of connection and mutual reliance that supports community and generosity.” ~ Chester
“I feel it is always there. It becomes more apparent in times of need, but I feel it is constant and closer than we realise. To find it is to go back to the place we never left.” ~ Don Jones
“This community.” ~ Malag
“Thirty-nine years ago, I got married and moved to another state. I had been in my church’s choir for several years. They sang at my wedding and then gave me an address book with all their contact information already in it. And a photo album with pictures of the members. It was a very thoughtful gift for someone who was moving out of state to the unknown. I was touched by their gift and remember it still.” ~ Arleen
“Prayers and cards from friends after my mother’s recent death… calls and messages of support and kindness. Knowing people care and that they have taken the time to reach out…” ~ Patricia
We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who shared your experience of generosity and community. If you would like to add a rich practice to your life, we invite you to visit our Practice Space and join the welcoming community who connect there each day.
And for you, where has community and generosity showed up unexpectedly in your life? We invite you to share your reflections below…