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Let’s explore radical generosity
When we demonstrate radical generosity with our kids, we give without an expectation of getting anything back in return. Reciprocation is a healthy part of interdependence, but without rampant radical generosity, we just live in a transactional world of cold capitalism and a widening wealth gap.
Radical generosity is not setting ourselves on fire to keep others warm. It’s not violating our own boundaries, becoming a martyr, or silently suffering.
Radical generosity requires strong, resilient, transparent boundaries. As the Tomte in The Tomten and the Fox says to the starving fox he’s chosen to care for: ‘No eating hens!’ We’re allowed to choose who we support, what that support looks like, and under what circumstances we’re willing to do so. Being generous doesn’t mean being a doormat.
Radical generosity does not mean throwing gifts at everyone we know, just for the sake of giving. It’s not showing up to every invitation. Radical generosity means listening to what people really need, understanding how supporting them benefits our wider community – and then asking ourselves if we’re willing, and able to help them get there.
Sometimes that sounds like a thoughtful, conditional ‘Yes. I will do that for you, with the conditions...’ Sometimes that looks like a compassionate, honest, “Thank you for the opportunity to help, but no, I can’t.” without apology, and without feeling the need to justify our ‘no,’
- When have we felt happy to give?
- What do we find is easy to give? Acts of service? Gifts or donations? Our time, attention, or care?
- When have we felt obligated to give? How did it make us feel?
- When do we feel uncomfortable saying ‘no’? How can we role-play and practice our ‘no‘?
- How do we show appreciation for what we received?
- Have we ever felt the urge to ‘get even‘ with a return gift after receiving a kindness? Did it feel like healthy appreciation, or a competition to show off?
More resources to dig deeper:
- How we strengthen our communities with Kids Books about Radical Interdependence
- More Stories Cultivating Gratitude & Appreciation
- More Stories to discuss Courageous Generosity
- Kids books on building and respecting boundaries
- For Luminary Braintrust members: Unpacking Greed in Spirited Away