Absolute truth speaks in silence, and none can fail to heed it’s voice.
Generosity isn’t the opposite of greed, and people mistake this. Generosity isn’t a noble learned virtue, and the whole concept of these “higher ideals” has seemed very damaging to me. Generosity is a form of symbiosis and acceptance, and perhaps even willingness to enhance the exchange process. Even science supports this. The species that dominate their ecological niches have at least some measure of altruism. It’s sort of a “long term greed”. Altruism and greed are linked. As I have said before, every strength we have arises from one of our vices, one of our weaknesses.
Maybe a culture of abundance as opposed to an attitude of scarcity? As in, the more you give, the more there is? Well said.
Instead of “personal” greed, generosity is sort of a species wide greed? Indeed, but we can’t move into a culture of abundance without facing our judgement of greed. The world spanning corporate profiteers are a manifestation of that rejection of greed, not its acceptance. They “get rich quick”, because they need to stop doing the bad thing. They think it’s to avoid a great evil, and we think it is too. But quite the opposite, it’s an insane denial of nature. The “greedy farmer” will be generous to his crops and livestock. The “greedy woman” will be generous to her family and friends. The “greedy man” will make a big to do of what he can give, and will make a lot of effort to better where he lives.
It could be argued to apply to Bill Gates and Bono. Gates’ altruistic efforts are large and wide spread, as are Bonos, and Stings. Yet Gates efforts stem from Microsofts greed to dominate, so in a way greed fed the altruism. You cannot fully embrace a virtue without creating a vice. Save the ecosystem? You will be ignoring people. Save people? You will neglect the land.
Find the balance. Something the virtual world of Second Life is all about teaching us? Exactly yes, but here is the thing. The reason we don’t find that balance is because we revile part of our population. We call them greedy, rather than saying, “Hey I know you are interested in bettering the lives of people. This is what I learned about the land here, how can we do both?” They instead say, “You are motivated by greed, and don’t care about the planet. You are evil, and shouldn’t be allowed to do anything.” Is this sane?
We don’t accept that in them, because we don’t accept it in ourselves either. Very true. We are so busy being “moral” and “true to ourselves” (the last being a lie, because we don’t know ourselves) and are instead being true to our ego so that we do nothing effectively.
What we hate the most in others is the reflection of the parts of ourselves we refuse to accept. Yes. So the answer is generosity, but generosity isn’t “fixing it“, fixing anyone, or anything. Let’s be honest, who actually knows how to fix anything? It’s because the idea of fixing stuff is off. Generosity is doing something in the world, give something to someone or to the world itself, because you can. Because you are trusting your instincts and inside you want to see this thing done. You want to see this thing added to the world, and not because you are fixing anything.
Generosity is an egotistical tool to help rid someone of the load of guilt or shame? Generosity as most people know it is exactly that, yes. I fully agree, and these same generous people will say, “I gave at the office.”
It’s a mask they use, but not really genuine. Charity vs. justice. Yes. The truly generous person isn’t conditionally generous. Generosity is their very life. They give every time they do something, and they receive freely also. They accept, and say, “Hey, I need that!”
How many times have you felt awful, and did something generous to makes amends? To feel better? I don’t do something generous to make amends. When I seek to make amends my action is never generous, it’s focused on the problem.
The ego wants to feel good, not guilt? The body wants to feel good. The desire to feel good is not a vice, but only in the head game people play with themselves. Guilt and compensating for guilt do a great deal of harm. There is no generosity in it. You can apprehend that you have done harm, see its consequences, and be moved to abate the harm done, and this isn’t about guilt. It’s an acknowledgment that you are connected, and you don’t do anything for them. I am not a generous man as most people define it, I’m a greedy man. I greedily seek connections in life, the experiences of life, contact, and I seek the satisfaction of bettering the world I look at. Making a child smile, making my lover sigh happily, making my yard bloom beautifully, and having friends over for company, and to share my space.
But in one subset of society that I know of, there becomes a desire to make amends and relieve guilt via a desire for physical pain, and that itself can become a vice, and can also pay penance for the harm done. They become greedy for this, and greedy for a need to be generous albeit in a very directed/narrow way. True. There can be a twisting of that instinct, but it doesn’t happen from the start. It comes from thinking after the fact. Since we villainize greed, they get desperate. Our instincts, no matter what we do, won’t go away. So a natural and balanced drive becomes something psychotic and damaging. It’s still the good/bad dichotomy crucifying us, and literal crucifixion would drive us mad with agony.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.