There are consequences to being generous. I am well aware that generosity is a character thing. For many people it just comes naturally. It’s just a part of their identity. A need arises and they are called to the moment. Called to a moment of generosity…Such giving individuals give little thought to the consequences of their kindness at the time.
My friend, Leah, played the cello in high school. I know nothing about the cello. If the truth be known, I am just not musically inclined. I learned today that cello strings are not replaced in a matter of minutes. They must be stretched and broken in. Leah was at an important high school contest when one the strings on her cello broke just before it was time for her to play a solo.
At this point, our mutual friend Julie entered the picture. Julie loaned Leah her cello, so the opportunity to compete in the solo contest would not be lost. Leah played. And apparently she played quite well, because she qualified for state competition.
Several thoughts come to mind. I think of the mentality: “that’s your tough luck.” There is no shortage of that mindset. And I think of those that would be inclined to laugh at such misfortune. They are in the minority, but they are lurking around…And of course there is always the choice to just ignore another person's misfortune.
Julie chose generosity. And as a result there were immediate consequences. Leah was able to qualify for state. But there were also other consequences. Over 35 years later, Leah still remembers her misfortune at contest. And she still recalls that someone came to her rescue. Do you think she forgot that it was Julie? Of course not.
I am going to spend some time this week thinking about people that have been generous with me over the years. It is not a short list. And I am reminded that the consequences of such kindnesses are far reaching. May I eradicate every stingy and uncharitable thought from my mind…There are consequences to being generous.