Why Generosity Is Important: Discovering The Power Of Giving

Imagine your heart as a well, with generosity being the water that fills it. When you give, it’s like pouring water into your well, enriching not only yourself but also those around you.

This article is for you if you’re seeking to understand why generosity is important and how it can transform your life. We’ll delve into the values framework of the 16 Guidelines program and draw inspiration from César Chávez to explore how giving can become a pathway to lasting happiness.

Practising genuine generosity where we expect nothing at all in return isn’t always easy, but don’t worry – we’re here to guide you through its challenges. And finally, we’ll help deepen and strengthen your practice of generosity so that you can experience its transformative power.

So take this journey with us to discover the magical power of giving!

Why Give?

  • Giving enriches both the giver and the recipient
  • Giving extends beyond just material gifts and can involve selflessly giving one’s time, energy, and talents
  • Acts of generosity lead to true happiness and have abundant benefits for mental and physical health, as well as improving relationships and self-esteem
  • Genuine acts of generosity come from a place beyond mere self-interest and have the power to transform lives and encourage mutual trust
Why generosity is important | FDCW

1. What is Generosity

“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

–H.H the Dalai Lama

You’ve probably heard it said that ‘it’s better to give than to receive’, but have you ever stopped to really ponder what that means and how the act of generosity can transform not only the recipient’s life but yours as well? True generosity, at its core, is a prosocial behaviour deeply rooted in altruistic actions. It’s a virtue that goes beyond mere material gifts. It involves giving your time, energy, and talents selflessly for the benefit of others.

The benefits of generosity are manifold. They extend far beyond the immediate gratification one gets from seeing another person’s joy or delight. The power of giving creates connections with others and fosters a strong sense of community.

By understanding this deeper meaning of generosity, we can shift away from the limited worldview that is centred on ‘me’ and ‘mine.’ Instead new horizons open up for us where we become part of something bigger than just ourself. What does that look like?

Here’s a story from César Chávez who an iconic figure known for his acts of selfless service.

2. César Chávez’s Story

César Chávez, a renowned Mexican-American civil rights activist and labour leader. Despite his humble earnings and lack of personal assets, Chávez devoted his time to improving the lives of ordinary workers across the USA. His life’s work was helping farmworkers by co-founding the United Farm Workers union. He tirelessly advocated for fair wages and improved working conditions. His desire to fight for equity stemmed from his own experiences as the child of migrant workers and his deep-seated belief in human dignity and fairness.

The scale of his generosity and the impact of his work were vividly demonstrated at his funeral in the small town of Delano, California. Over 50,000 individuals gathered not to honour a man of material wealth, but to pay tribute to a lifetime of selfless service. They came to recognise Chávez’s commitment to a vision of social justice, honouring his tireless efforts to uplift the underprivileged.

His belief, “the real wealth comes from helping others,” underpinned his actions and commitments throughout his life. His dedication to his fellow workers, even at his personal expense, demonstrates the true essence of generosity. Chávez’s life shows that giving of oneself has the power to shape lives of many others and bring about lasting positive change.

This story of César is taken from the 16 Guidelines for Life, by Alison Murdoch and Dekyi Lee Oldershaw concerning Generosity.

3. Generosity: A Pathway to Happiness

Imagine, for a moment, how your life could transform if every action was infused with a sense of selfless giving. It’s in these acts of kindness that true happiness resides. The power of giving isn’t just about sharing material possessions but offering time, energy, and empathy.

It’s this generosity that carves the pathway to happiness.

Acts of generosity don’t have to be grand gestures; even small acts can reap abundant benefits. When you give freely without expecting anything in return, you create a powerful social connection. You’re not only enriching someone else’s life but also enhancing your own mental and physical health. The benefits in life associated with generosity extend beyond the immediate joy that comes from altruistic action – they touch on everything from improved relationships to increased self-esteem.

“Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.”


Embrace the power of giving as an integral part of your life journey towards happiness. As you continue practising random acts of kindness and experiencing their numerous rewards, remember that while the act itself is simple, its impact can be profound.

Therein lies our next focus: understanding how to navigate the challenge of genuine generosity without losing oneself in the process.

4. The Challenge of Genuine Generosity

Navigating the complexities of sincere giving can pose its own set of challenges. People are often drawn to acts of kindness, but the correlation between generosity and personal gain can blur lines.

The challenge of genuine generosity lies in separating your actions from any thought of return – keeping them pure, free from ulterior motives.

Overzealous behaviour may prompt you to over-extend yourself in the name of generosity. However, remember that every bit of generosity should stem from sincerity rather than a hidden agenda. Giving insincerely can throw you off balance but also taints the essence of giving – making it more about power dynamics than simple kindness.

True acts of generosity will resonate deeper when they come from a place untouched by self-interest. It’s crucial to use our discerning wisdom – maintaining our inner equilibrium while embracing the power that comes with unconditional giving.

As we continue our exploration into why generosity is so essential, let us keep these lessons at heart. Moving forward, we delve deeper into understanding how we can enrich our practice of generosity without losing ourselves or compromising on sincerity along the way.

5. Deepening our Practice of Generosity

Deepening our practice of generosity involves embracing the challenges that come with sincere acts of kindness. By doing so, we can refine and deepen our commitment to selfless deeds. It also requires redefining our relationship with possessions and allowing ourselves the freedom to let go. In this process, we may discover unexpected benefits. Generosity can bring satisfaction and fulfilment to our daily lives. As the authors of our own stories, we have the power to derive meaning from giving.

The benefits of practising generosity are numerous. Research by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley shows that practising generosity can significantly enhance our lives in a number of ways. Regular practitioners of generosity not only enjoy a heightened sense of happiness but also typically have longer lifespans and an enriched sense of well-being. The impact of giving, it seems, extends far beyond the act itself, bringing a myriad of blessings into our lives.

To deepen our practice, it is important not only to give but also to rejoice in giving. True health lies not only in physical well-being but also in emotional wellness. It is a continuous journey of refinement, as generosity is not a destination but a fulfilling path.

As we strive to understand the transformative power of generosity, it is crucial to remember that each act contributes to creating a world filled with compassion and love.

6. Conclusion: The Transformative Power of Generosity

So, let’s delve into how the sheer act of sharing can wholly transform our world, shall we?

Generosity, as César Chávez taught us, is more than just a virtue. It’s a key ingredient to leading a meaningful life. When you direct your attention towards others and give freely, you’ll find that negative emotions such as anxiety, dissipate. You’ll also realize that your career and social life flourish in ways you didn’t expect.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

–Francis of Assisi

Generosity deepens relationships by encouraging a sense of trust and reciprocity. By giving without expecting anything in return, you create an environment where deeper relationships can thrive. This isn’t constrained to only material possessions either- it could be your time or skills too!

The ripple effect of generosity can be vast – it sets off a chain reaction that reaches far beyond the immediate recipient of your kindness. As each person passes on the gesture, we see the potential for a kinder world emerging.

All it takes is one act of generosity to start this process. So why not challenge yourself today? Extend beyond your comfort zone and experience the transformative power of giving first-hand!

Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW)

At FDCW we are committed to a more compassionate, wiser world. We provide resources, courses and training to develop qualities such as kindness, patience and honesty – qualities which are essential for meeting the challenges of the world we all share.

The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) was established as a global charity based in London in 2005. Since then we have provided secular training, programmes and resources across many sectors of society – schools, universities, hospices, workplaces, healthcare, youth groups and community centres. Our courses have reached thousands of people across the world through our dedicated and growing network of facilitators in more than 20 countries.

Support our Work

As a non-profit organization, FDCW relies on donations like yours to continue producing valuable resources and hosting events. You can support us by sharing our newsletter, following us on social media, and making a donation. Every contribution, big or small, helps us in our efforts and we truly appreciate it.

Related Articles