Generosity and Greed

Generosity and greed are another pair of polar opposites. When living a spiritual or authentic life, a person will tend to exhibit more generosity. Greed is evidence of an egoic personality at work. But there are situations where these opposites might be confused. Ego involves pride, which could cause someone to want to be the most generous person in the group. When an opportunity to help or give to someone arises, they will jump on it. You might say they are greedy about being the generous one. But this is where we can easily see what is at the heart of the situation. The ego is always comparing itself with other people. A true desire to give does not include self-talk that might say, 'I am more generous than them'. In fact, true generosity coming from a higher place will give the most credit to others.

Greed itself simply ignores the needs and desires of others and focuses on taking for oneself. If there is enough to go around, greed will compel a person to take more than their share, and maybe hide some of it away for themselves. But what are we talking about taking? It could be money, food, time, or even someone's appreciation or attention. Some people might be greedy about taking all the praise and thanks in a situation, while another might be greedy about appearing to be the least needy in the group.

So how do we manage greed and become more generous? We simply make ourselves aware that we are each a piece of eternity, an expression of god, equal lives with equal rights to be alive. If our feet are cold, it would make little sense to put 2 socks on our right foot, and let our left foot freeze. Once we recognize the divine in all life, we will automatically want to help others, and be less worried about getting our fair share. When we recognize that greed is a learned behavior, and not a part of our higher self, it loses its power over us. We begin to give more, sharing without asking for anything in return. That is true enlightenment, true generosity, and an absence of greed.