Leo's Second Decan Influence: Generosity
The Constellation Leo
Do Unto Others...
"When I Do Good, I Feel Good"
When I was in the 8th grade, I wrote a paper on how no good deed is purely generous. I recognized even then that, when presented the opportunity to help another, one was motivated by consequences. To help another was to do good, and to not help was to have that decision weigh heavily on your mind. So to me, all good deeds were for the benefit of both parties involved.
My teacher scored me low, asking, "do you really believe that?"
Almost 20 years later, I still do.
Generosity is defined by dictionary.com first as, "readiness or liberality in giving." It is then further defined as, "freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character." This was the point I was trying to drive home in my 8th grade paper. Either you help when the opportunity presents itself, or you learn how selfish you are. That's the spectrum. The only other option here is that you were oblivious to the opportunity. Since that paper, I help whenever I can. But only in actual, real life situations where I CAN help, not through pleas made from ads or commercials. When being generous, you must develop the insight to learn when you can make a difference, and when you're being taken advantage of. When being generous, it helps if you actually make a difference.
In these times of absolute media overload, developing generosity mandates discretion.
I'm tired of watching people - and the whole next generation of people - fall prey to played-out media tricks. Tales that used to begin "In a land far, far away..." now show up with matching pictures in our living rooms every morning. One I saw this morning:
There are starving children in Africa. Ok - what are you going to do about it?
1. Feel very sad? That doesn't feed a hungry child. Make sure you tell everyone else how awful they are for not feeling very sad? Again, we're not feeding any children with this.
2. Send money to a company that pays to advertise grotesque images of severe suffering? That doesn't save that child's life, it just supports more grotesque advertising.
3. Build enough character in yourself to know that if you ever met a starving person EVER, you would cook a meal for that actual person. YES! THAT would ACTUALLY feed a starving person.
If we developed our sense of generosity in a way that made us personally responsible for tending to the suffering we ACTUALLY encounter DIRECTLY and PERSONALLY throughout our day, then we really could help alleviate the suffering in the world. I've never met a starving African child...but I've made quite a few lunches for hungry men in my own home. These are people who I already interact with in my day, who don't have anyone to cook for them or sometimes don't have a kitchen to cook in or even a home to return to, and I feed them with food from my fridge. Without any extra money or even having to leave my home, I can lessen the suffering in this world just by paying attention to what needs tended to around me. There are enough opportunities to do this in my actual day without having to go out hunting for it, let alone making this a "save the world or feel worthless" endeavor.
Bleeding hearts don't make you a generous person - capability does. Develop your sense of generosity enough to know that if you even encounter a sad, suffering situation, you'll handle it the best you know how because you always do, and let that be your peace of mind - and leave the fear mongering to our government and media.
In Leo's key idea of "rulership", a true sense of functional generosity will earn you loyal followers.
Help When You Can, Not When You're Solicited
Beware the pitfalls of being generous! Authenticate your experiences in generosity and avoid being taken advantage of by assuring your chance to help another resonates with your actual life experience, not your sense of identity.
Follow the decans with us throughout the year, anytime, by visiting www.deepappreciation.com.