That’s the question that is bouncing off the walls of my brain as I sit here in the comfort of my local suburban Starbucks.
My heart’s broken and I’m extremely disturbed at all the reactions coming from both sides surrounding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.
Two words have sent shock waves across our nation, once again leaving us divided.
And I’m sitting here asking myself, what if?
What if George Zimmerman had made different choices that night? What if Trayvon Martin had made different choices? What if they both had been in different places?
It’s a bit of a foolish exercise asking questions like that, but nonetheless, it’s where I am.
In the end, I just feel awful for everyone involved and everyone whose lives’ have forever been marked by this experience.
You see there’s this idea I have about life and it’s not too terribly uncommon in most circles. What I mean by that is, if you were to randomly ask someone if they thought this was a good idea then 9 times out of 10 you would find that they agreed with you.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on this idea. It’s one of a few things I want my life to stand and be known for. I guess you could say that when it’s all said and done, I want my legacy to contain this idea.
This idea is nothing more than a word.
One simple word.
But I think this word would have prevented those two words, alluded to above, from having ever needed to be spoken.
That word is Generosity.
I believe there is truly only one way to live and that is generously.
I am convinced that generosity wins every time. It’s written in every great story and woven into every great fairy tale. I believe it’s also coded into the very DNA of our hearts. I think that’s why when we drive by the needy and homeless, whether we act or not, we feel something. We experience something.
Shows like Extreme Home Makeover, Secret Millionaire, and Undercover Boss are successful because they are built and scripted on radical generosity! They give us an experience that resonates with the sacred space in each and every one of our hearts. It’s why we love them, and watch them religiously.
Like I said, I’ve spent a lot of time with this idea this year. I suppose you could say, I’ve developed a pretty good relationship with generosity. That doesn’t mean I’m as generous as I would like to be, but what I mean is, in all my time sitting and talking with this idea, I’ve come up with 4 main reasons why I’m choosing to live a generous life.
1. I’m selfish, but not just in the way you think. Let’s cut to the chase and be honest with one another. We are all selfish. That’s just a fact of life. We will always find ways to give ourselves the satisfaction and comfort we think we’re missing out on, even if that’s at the expense of someone else. But that’s not the whole story. I’m choosing to be selfish when it comes to generosity, because I really love helping people! I mean really love knowing I’ve been able to serve someone well. By understanding that you are uniquely created with gifts and talents other people don’t have, using them to serve others is the kind of selfishness the world needs more of.
2. I love stories. If my passion and creativity could be compared to something like a car engine, then stories easily serve as 6 of the 12 cylinders. Of course it would be a 12 cylinder engine, right? I mean, it’s all about Creating the Awesome, so what’s more awesome than a 12 cylinder beast of an engine! But seriously, I love hearing your stories! I love giving away any platform I have to tell someone else’s awesome story.
3. I love seeing you succeed! Maybe this comes from years of working in the entertainment business, I don’t know. But nothing fuels me more than watching someone I have been able to help succeed! It gives me great joy to participate in the success stories of others! That’s why I love Louie Giglio’s language about being a door holder.
4. The truth is I’ve been given much. This is as honest and authentic as it gets. If you’re reading this, then you’re right there with me. We are better off than 90% of the world. That’s almost too much to fathom, and staggering to experience. You and I have not been given so that we could hold on, hoard, and keep to ourselves. No. We’ve been given so that, we might give to others. That’s the equation for success and the recipe for the only way to live.
Generosity is the gospel equation for success and the recipe for the only way to live. ()
The Message translation of scripture is by far one of my favorites and I love how it communicates what John 3:29-30 says. I think it perfectly sums up not only who I want to be but also why I want to be that kind of man.
I think it sets you and I up to respond to one of the greatest questions that could ever be asked of us.
In light of the generosity shown to you, how will you respond?
“Thats why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.”
What would your reasons for living a generous life be?
What would you add to my list?
Share your thoughts and comments below! We’re all made better by them!
Can I ask one more small favor from you, my awesome audience? If something you’ve read above sticks out at you, or resonates with you at all, would you kindly share it? I continually want to build a community where value is added and the biggest value imaginable comes from your voices! You’d be surprised at what can happen when just one person shares one idea with another!