All I have to say is, stay away from generous people when you’re working through your own generosity project. For real. Stay home. Read a book. But don’t go near a friend who has consistently been the essence of generosity since the day you met her.
Last night, I left crying babies and a super cute toddler with my there-ain’t-nothing-he-can’t-handle husband and drove off into the sunset to meet a friend for dinner. Knowing exactly who she is and what she was likely to do, I prayed that I would be the generous one at dinner, picking up the check. I drove while concocting fighting words for her if she rejected my generosity.
Generous people are hard people to be generous with. They don’t usually want nor accept your attempts to be generous. But I’m a tough gal and there was no way I wasn’t going to win.
It’s undeniable, there’s a learning curve for us non-generous’s. In the midst of our learning how to live generously, we need to be ready for the unexpected. Paying for dinner is one thing. But how my generous friend one-upped me could have never been predicted.
When I arrived she was nestled in tight to a quaint table for two at the end of the patio. We hugged and exchanged compliments on hair, clothes, adorable children, etc. She introduced me to our waiter, who she knew from a previous job. We ordered our meals and volleyed stories back and forth for three hours straight. Time with this friend is nothing but good for my soul. Words from her are generous enough, but this particular friend just so happens to be my generosity mentor.
Generous people don’t know they’re mentors to the non-generous’s. They are just living their lives as though giving all they have actually makes them happy.
Finally, it was time.
The check arrived.
“I’m going to get dinner tonight!” I said.
“No, no, no. I’d like to get it and here’s why…” she said.
Before she could explain, “No, sorry. It’s not going to happen. I’m on a generosity mission and you cannot rob me this.”
Smiling, she understood, but still insisted. “No, see, the reason I want to pay is…..”
And this is where she one-upped me; revealing why the generous person will always stay on top.
“Because I know him, I’d like to tip our waiter generously.”
Didn’t see that coming. Like how generous, I thought to myself.
I had to decide: jump ship or stay in the battle. I mean, she made a good argument. She, not only wanted to be generous with me, but with our waiter as well. We decided to table the “check fight” to enjoy another hour of life updates over 2 refills of coffee.
The clock was ticking. The night was near its end. The waiters had to go home soon. Someone had to pay.
Not only did I win, but I was stretched.
I got to be the one to generously tip the waiter friend. To be generous with my friend, meant to go the whole way. Not just to the point of what I was expecting to do.
What’s the point?
When we open our hands and hearts to the idea of giving more than receiving, we can’t expect it to fit perfectly in the palm of our hands. The learning curve is there for a reason, to be taught and tested all along the way.
It was just dinner and just a generous tip.
But for me, it was exciting and affirming. Generosity leaves everyone involved changed.
Thank you, my generous friend, for always teaching me that.
As I learned last night, beware the generous person. They just might teach you something that you won’t ever forget.
How’s your generosity project going?