When we bring love to our understanding of generosity, we transform it from a synonym for charity to the act of creativity that is true generosity. Consider the people across your life who have done something good, kind and thoughtful for you. Now, consider the people who have done those things in ways you would never have expected.
Years ago I was teaching a class of seniors in AP Latin. I had known and cultivated relationships with all of these students for four years. We had always met in the same room with the same school issue furniture. Apparently, over that time, these seniors had heard me complain about how uncomfortable the plastic chair on wheels was that came with my teacher’s desk and computer table. At the end of their last semester, I walked into my classroom on what would be our last day of class together to find a full sized, comfortably padded office chair on wheels with a giant red ribbon on it. It had a card signed by all of my seniors. They wanted me to have a comfortable chair to work in. That was taking generosity to a creative, unexpected end, and that act of generosity made the next ten years of teaching a little more comfortable to me. When I retired, that chair was worn completely out.
Generosity implies creativity. It implies a relationship. It implies love. Generosity implies transformation. And that makes me begin to wonder. Look at the interconnection of these, our Unitarian Universalist values. Generosity fueled by love, in fact, implies each of the values we have considered so far: equity, transformation and pluralism. When we work toward good starts and good outcomes (equity) for all, is that not an act of generosity? When we fuel life giving and sustaining change (transformation) is that not a creative act of generosity? When we expand and extend in love (pluralism) is that not an act of creative generosity? Where is love leading you to engage in a creative act for the greater good?