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