A happy post !
I realize the last few years, I’ve been becoming… a very small person. Not in size, obviously. But counting kindnesses that I’ve output and comparing them to kindnesses reciprocated. On my birthday, my coworkers surprised me with cupcakes and fruit. And today, they surprised me again with a gift for my maternity leave. Mind you, I’m sure it was just a few people that organized and the rest donated to the small celebration begrudgingly due to peer pressure. Hell, I’ve given begrudgingly on multiple occasions as well, not just at work but within our social circles. But those work surprises were kind and appreciated and managed to break through my ice-y, bitter jadedness like a steak knife through Jello.
So you know what? It’s time to quit the bitching.
All this negativity stems from years of the generosity mantra that I’ve seen my own mother demonstrate. For me, she’s one of the most generous ladies I know, in time, effort and her wallet. And the observation that I’ve always had is that about 10% of those recipients that receive her kindness reciprocate, the rest don’t even recognize or appreciate any of it. In fact, I’d say 20% ask why she’s so silly behind her back, what’s the point of being so nice? To be honest, I’ve often asked that myself, more so now that I’m older.
I can’t say that I’m able to be half as kind as she is but I won’t be bitter anymore and I won’t question her life motto. If and when I give, it will be for the sake of inspiring a small joy in the recipient and I will want naught back because I wouldn’t give if I couldn’t afford it. I will also accept graciously and not feel any guilt tripping. In fact, I’ll just be grateful on top of all the other things that I have to be grateful for … and not suspiciously wonder what the catch is…
It’s all the more important now because soon, I’ll be the role model for another human being. Their attitude towards life will be hugely influenced by me. It’s scary and there’s a lot of self-pressure to become a better and happier person- to balance that fine line between naivety and living a life with meaning. For now, I’ll start with this. Stop being so small and start living with more genuine generosity.