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The Holiday Spirit

The Holiday Spirit

Generosity and charity can be two different things. Charity consists of “giving” something tangible, usually money. It’s often writing a check, which is easy for many of us. Of course, “charity” can also be kindness and tolerance toward others, but it’s usually interpreted as a “donation” to the less fortunate.

Generosity is the quality of being kind and unselfish. It means extending help or withholding judgment and doesn’t necessarily involve money or a gift of some kind.

We should, of course, practice both charity and generosity if we can. But they need to be entirely selfless. If you allow someone to make a turn in front of your car, then get upset if you’re not thanked by the other driver, you haven’t really been generous, you’ve been looking to be rewarded and self-centered. If you provide money to a cause solely to gain a tax deduction, is that really a charitable act or merely a financial transaction?

“Give and take” doesn’t apply for the Holidays. Just “give” applies. If we all engaged in that manner, the world would be a better place.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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