Generosity is a trait not easily adopted. It is something that must be learned and understood. For this reason, many believe generosity should be taught in schools. Before you can teach generosity, however, you must first understand what generosity is. In an article by Amy Love on mindfulschools.org, generosity can be defined as giving good things freely and abundantly.
This simple definition of generosity can be broken down into three phrases: Giving good things, freely, and abundantly. Giving good things means to give items of value to the recipient. In some cases, having lunch with someone may be more valuable than giving them a hug. The next part of generosity, is the word “freely”. To give something freely means to give without hesitation or regret. The last part of the definition for generosity is “abundantly”, meaning to give in an amount significant to the recipient.
With an understanding for what generosity is, it can be effectively taught in schools. Amy Love’s article outlines three ways to cultivate generosity with youth:
- Act in service. This means to involve students in the community, working to give back. This could range from picking up trash around the school to organizing a food drive or volunteering. Practicing a level of generosity and public service at a local level can be a transformative experience for younger individuals.
- Smile. Smiling is an easy way to be generous. Students can be tasked with smiling at another student every day for a month, and journaling how they feel afterward.
- Practice Self-love. Self-love is an often overlooked aspect of managing one’s well being. In this article, it is suggested to give students a small handheld mirror to practice complimenting themselves. Afterward they can reflect on the experience and how it felt to be generous toward themselves.
An article from freestudy.com also illustrates the importance of generosity in students, particularly international students. Some of the key components described in this article are as follows:
- Cultivate the attitude. Practicing generosity can increase one’s understanding and appreciation for generous acts, positively impacting one’s attitude.
- Share your knowledge. Sharing knowledge and experience with others by emotionally supporting them is an effective way of making friends.
- Don’t hurt yourself. Too much generosity can be financially and emotionally taxing. Be careful not to over extend your generosity, and sacrifice your own well-being.
Generosity in school is easy to share, and the impacts are lasting. Meeting people and making friends through generous acts are only some of the emotional rewards generosity can bring. Practice some generous acts today and see how it changes your day!