How To Give: A Crash Course on Generosity.
Generosity is first a mindset before it is an action.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a multimillionaire to give. Cross that, you do not need to be comfortable to share. The moment you are willing to share your little, the minute you do not mind giving up your tiny for someone who needs it more, you are as generous as they come. You have acquired the Bill Gates level of benevolence, if I may.
In Church today, I couldn’t help my thoughts as it tried to trace generational poverty. As if I was watching a movie, I remembered once in my family church on Thanksgiving Sunday, a Tray filled with biscuits and groundnut was making its round and it got to a woman sitting beside me. I remember vividly, how she released the knot in her wrapper — she was dressed in the typical Yoruba ‘Iro and Buba, took two big helpings of Groundnuts, two handfuls of Cabin biscuits, and reknotted her dress. Before she passed the Tray to me, she helped herself with a few for ‘public munching’, lol.
I was 13 or 14 but I remember rolling my eyes and not thinking beyond it. Of course, I knew it was for afterwards or for her family members who didn't show up at church, but I wasn’t disturbed to look beyond that moment and what it meant for herself and her family until today, a decade after.
Today, I replayed that incident and saw clearly how not only are we like the woman in varying situations, but how such behaviours are detrimental to anyone who wants to succeed.
If we want to do or be better than our parents or grandparents, this attitude of keeping it all for ourselves will have to go. If you’ve had breakfast and there’s one lunch less for your teammates, be comfortable enough to give it up for someone who has not had any.
This behaviour, in the words of Frank Donga of tightening the world to your chest, does more harm than good. You may think it is just food or drinks, only that it is not. It is entrenched in your psyche. It is a mentality riddled with lack, hunger, deprivation and fear. A mentality hinged on the palpable fear that I may never get this opportunity again. I may never have enough to eat after now. I may never see free lunch again… the list is endless.
“Na who no chop belleful do himself”
This mentality sadly is not about the food or everyday material things, it is exactly what will deprive new wine of flowing through you and prevent you from enjoying new experiences because you are desperately clinging so hard to what is before you.
Even the Bible says for new to come, old must depart. You want prosperity, yet you hold tightly with both fists every Naira and Kobo. Not letting the Okada man or the petty Trader at the market gain a Penny extra. You snatch every dollar with a roving, mean eye and would rather the young child hawking under the sun walk shop by shop searching for N100 change’.
You don’t want to lack, yet, you decline every opportunity to give, to bless, to pay forward the kindness. You’d rather your pockets are filled and leaking with edibles than allow “latecomers” have some.
You want to live in constant richness yet, nothing misses your Table at parties. Food, drinks, snacks, gifts you hide under your table, underneath your blouse and in your suitcase even when the Table one inch from you is empty. Or, because you know the Celebrant, you take excesses home and it stays in your fridge weeks before you throw them out, offer your dog or, neighbours.
You claim you want to thrive, yet, when you are privy to a piece of information that will transform the lives of your colleagues, you keep it to yourself and watch them toil day after day.
All of us, in one way or the other, are all guilty of this.
As we go on into this new week, I wanted to remind us nothing new happens if you hold on tightly to the old.
New won’t come.
Wealth won’t come.
Peace won’t come.
Money won’t come if you hold desperately hard at old habits.
Be confident enough in your ability to attract the best experiences so much that you allow everyone a taste, a dance in the spotlight, and a chance to feel good about themselves.
The article was first published on Facebook on June 20th, 2020