Episode #7: Generosity?
1:00 Generosity is an expression of kindness
Theologically, the world is built on kindness
When we give, it validates us, empowers us, and makes us partners in creation
3:00 Generosity is natural to children, but then we grow out of it
Babies are takers; if they don’t get what they want, they scream and get it
Parenting is the job of weaning the child off of the need for immediate gratification
Most of us aren’t trained to be parents
6:00 Overly generous parents raise entitled and selfish children
Is there such a thing as true altruism?
Why would anyone choose the pleasure of giving over other pleasures?
10:00 Does the pleasure of giving negate the pure motives of giving?
If I want to be a giver, then I’ll give even without the internal desire and thereby acquire the natural impulse to give
Manners: acting artificially polite for the sake of contributing to a better society and culture
The prisoner who acted generous in order to con people and then became “addicted” to being good
14:00 Maimonides: most of life is habit -- by developing good habits we reserve mental energy for challenging decisions
Steve Jobs’s wardrobe
Create a joyful rhythm for life
16:30 Every morning ask yourself: what do I need to do today to be a better person than I was yesterday?
The definition of a good person is someone who’s trying to be a better person.
19:00 We need to have goals to better ourselves
The story of the rabbi and the miser: one little act can lead to much bigger acts
Is it better to give a thousand dollars to one cause or one dollar to a thousand causes?
Giving is for the giver as well as the receive
24:00 Is it better to give anonymously or publicly?
Some people need recognition; some people need to see that others are giving before they will give
Ideally, good deeds are best when they’re done modestly
27:00 Jewish law forbids giving more than 20% to charity so the giver won’t become a charity case
We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others
32:00 Kindness and justice combine to create compassion, which is the essence of charity
34:00 What if a person puts himself in financial straits because of pride?
A rich person who loses his money is ashamed that he can’t maintain his former lifestyle: how do you make a calculation between psychological pain and physical deprivation?
38:00 How do we meet the needs of a person who needs charity but is ashamed to ask for it?
40:00 Looking for creative ways to help others helps them and us
42:00 Look for the real request behind the words
45:00 Sometimes we have to save others from themselves
47:00 Word of the day: Athazagoraphobia
Fear of forgetting, being forgotten, or being ignored
We all want to be valued, which means we need to be worthy of being valued
50:00 We are all important; we need to recognize our own importance
If we wait for the approval of others, we may never get it
Make the choice to be wonderful and let that be its own reward
54:00 We can’t control how people treat us, but we can control our response
56:00 Since it’s better to give than to receive, the greatest give you can give another person is the opportunity to give
When done with pure intentions, taking can be giving