Shame in Accepting Generosity

Whether directly shouted into our ears or subtly inculcated through culture, individualism runs deep. How many times have you heard (or said) “I don’t want your charity”? What’s wrong with accepting charity? The hand up is rarely masking condescension or pity yet we often feel shame in accepting the generosity of others even when we might freely give it ourselves.

This rugged individualism may lead to practical difficulties from prolonged want that could have been mitigated by the warm offering of a caring friend but, more insidiously, the psychic costs of avoiding vulnerability cause greater interpersonal distance and prohibit the development of real community.

If you find yourself much more comfortable offering generosity than receiving it, ask yourself
“Why?” Receivers all have different levels of need yet, presumably, you find value in giving of
yourself, your time, your experience, or your money. If you struggle to accept the connection of
receiving generosity, remember that you are worthy of care, worthy of support, and your needs
are not a burden to others.

May you give generously to those in need however they may need it and may you receive the
generosity of others graciously.

~Ian Van Sice

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4 Responses to Shame in Accepting Generosity

  1. Lydia says:

    Important message for us all to hear. Thanks for sharing this

  2. Daniel Bailey says:

    Well felt and said! This speaks to the heart of the matter!

  3. Peggy A says:

    I really needed to hear these words today. I often feel hesitant to ask for help when I need it, but am usually eager to help others in need. Your words have opened a new understanding of why I should not be hesitant to ask for other people’s help when needed.

  4. katrina P yurko says:

    Charity is a tricky business just because there are so many kinds of charity and it has a unique narrative because of the people involved or the time in your life when you tend to need more or less….I guess the whole idea of charity is defined by the context. There could be no strings attached or numerous strings that can get the receiver entangled. I am at a juncture where my daughter is betwixt and between personal/professional goals and is in the interim space that loves inertia. I am helping her cover some bills. It is a kind of charity and She is So Very Worth it. It is my Joy to do this because she does not take it for granted, she knows it is temporary and she uses it to further her goals in life,,, She is becoming a person who some of us might seek medical attention from sometime in the future. It’s a charity that keeps on giving….

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