Perhaps the current Covid crisis has shown both the best and the worst of humanity. We have all witnessed and even taken part in the extremities of human behaviour ranging from the utterly selfish (the toilet roll grabbing), to the utterly sacrificial (putting oneself in danger for the benefit of others). Maybe it’s caused a number of us to re-evaluate how and why we contribute to society for the greater good? Could it be that now more than ever before, it’s time to give consider giving things away?
I’ve always been quite a fan of the idea that generosity is a very noble value. It’s something to aim for in many walks of life. It’s also something we can all attain, no matter how relatively rich or poor we may feel.
If you can imagine this, it’s like we are all walking around carrying a bucket load of water! Some people we interact with are a drain on this, our resource bucket. Every time that we interface with them, they seem to take a little more from us. They metaphorically grab a mug, dip it into our bucket, and fill it to the brim, and then slosh it into their own bucket. Every time they leave us a little lower than we started.
However, some people are the complete reverse. It’s as though, with every interaction they take from their own bucket and pour into ours. These people are true givers. They in some way, they somehow, always leave us feeling topped up and richer for the interaction.
I love this idea. What if everyone was like this. Parents to kids, kids to their teachers, managers to their staff, staff to their peers, train conductors to the public etc etc. How much better would the world be? I guess in part that’s what we are seeing in some peoples response to Covid. Cadburys nailed it with that advert where the old neighbour keeps throwing back the kids balls, frisbees and anything else that ends up in his garden, then the kids throw over a bar of chocolate and shout out “you don’t have to throw that one back Mr Smith”.
I wonder who you will interface with today. How will you leave them? Bereft or enriched?
Yesterday was my first day back at work after a week doing some decorating, reading, making music and forgetting entirely about work. On reflection my return to work wasn’t generous, sadly I think I was a drain on my colleagues resources. So today, I’m going to do my best to be the guy that leaves others feeling they benefited in some small way from interacting with me. How about you?
Interested in this topic, listen to Squeeze Episode 28.