Archive for November 24th, 2021

Finding Generosity


They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.

–Hindu Proverb

Today’s virtue is generosity. I am running sections of a post from back in 2014 that dealt with giving of yourself. In this case, generosity was represented in the paintings I have given away over the years at gallery talks and the paintings I have donated to raise money for a variety of causes.

I have described this as an act of gratitude towards the folks who have supported me so well through the years, buying my work and following its growth in the galleries and here online. This is true, it is an act of gratitude. But it also has more meaning than that for me.

It is a small act of giving that is part of a larger battle against the selfishness and meanness of spirit so evident in the world. I am not talking about only others here. I am not exempt from selfishness. I have certainly been a selfish person in my life.

More so than I like to admit or let on. And I will probably be selfish in the future even though it is something I actively try to avoid.

But I find that with each small act of giving, of parting with something that I could easily hold onto covetously, something that feels like a part of me, there is a lightening of my burden and my spirit.

Generosity forces down many of the meaner parts of myself and creates space within for those better parts to expand and show themselves. It is an exhilarating feeling, a feeling of liberation from my baser self.

Even more so when I am giving something I consider a part of myself, something derived from my heart.

So much so that these events where I give away paintings have become the highlight of my working life.

I think that is why I take so much time and effort in choosing the painting to be given away. I have to find that piece that has a very personal meaning and attachment for me, one that I could easily hang onto for myself. It has to make me twinge a bit, make me a little uncomfortable to give it away. But once that decision has been made, the lightening begins and I am eager to see where the painting will find a new home.

Of course, this is only one form of generosity. There are many others, including a generosity of spirit, of reaching out and giving time to people in friendship and love.

The point is to give to others of yourself.

And hopefully, they will pass it on in their own acts of generosity to others. And then maybe the world will begin to be the better place we all know it could be.

That has to start somewhere, right?

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