We live in the most abundant period. Never, in the history of all time, was there a period so rich and abundant as the period we currently live in; there is enough of everything for everyone. And this is a fact. Yet, there are wars all over the world, the gap between the rich and the poor is deepening with every passing year, the laws passing everywhere give those who have even more, and take even more from those who don’t have.
Why is that? The answer to this lies in the very first days of the agricultural revolution when possessions and wealth began serving as status symbols – if you had more, you were better. If you had less – you weren’t good enough. And surely, us, human beings – we continuously strive for better. But better never meant to mean more, it used to mean just better.
Even though we’re taught that capitalism is about abundance, it is actually about scarcity. If the scarcity mindset wasn’t so deeply rooted within us – capitalism couldn’t flourish the way it did (and does).
The Death of Generosity
We are taught that giving means having less. That when I give to you, I give up on something of my own. We’re taught that giving weakens us. And when we can’t give with joy, we won’t be able to receive with joy.
Unlike we are taught to believe, receiving is not the opposite from giving, but the direct continuation of it. When we are set in the mindset of scarcity, whenever we receive something, we question what we received or ourselves, we question the giver, or we automatically want more. We often see this with our children, don’t we? When we give them a cookie, they immediately want five cookies – before they even ate the one we gave them. When they receive presents, they ask, “what else did you get me”?
We also feel this in our romantic relationships – upon receiving something we often wonder whether we are worth it, or that it cost too much, or didn’t cost enough. Alongside to forgetting how to give without expectation, we forgot how to receive without hesitation.
There’s no longer joy in giving or receiving.
How to Foster Generosity in Our Children?
First and foremost, as we are the only ones who are able to model behavior to our children, we must unlearn the lessons above. We must recall the joy of giving and disconnect giving from receiving.
- Stop rewarding your children for their behavior, punishing them for their “bad” behavior, or threaten them. Whatever it is that you have to give – it has nothing to do with anything that your child did or did not do.
- Stop conditioning your giving, your love, your attention.
- If you want to give a gift – give it. When you want to give love, connection, attention, or warmth – give it. And don’t use it later as a reason for the child to do something that you ask. Model giving without expectation.
- When your child gives something just for the sake of giving – open your heart and be genuinely grateful for it. Be it a smile, a hug, a kiss, or an invitation to be together – everything presented to you s something that someone chose to give you.
How to Live Family Life Generously?
Abundance, generosity, and gratitude all go hand in hand and are what our world desperately needs. You know what, forget about the world – it’s what our families are craving for. We just don’t yet understand that this is what we are lacking.
You know how you might come back home from work to find your husband resting?
Are you getting upset just from reading this sentence? 🙂 It’s because you connect his giving to himself to him taking from you – if he rests while you can’t – you feel taken from. You resent the tasks that you need to do; you start counting what you did against what he did or did not do, comparing, and finding that you deserve more.
How likely are you to fight in this mindset? Very likely. The thing is that all this negativity (and scarcity) would not enable your rest. They’ll just cost you your peace of mind.
Take as many steps as you possibly can from a scarcity mindset. Stop using words like “giving up” or “giving in.” Stop modeling that giving means weakness as it is the biggest strength of them all.
I’ve spent years teaching people (families) how to embrace the abundance mindset within their family cell, how to live abundantly, and I see, time and again, how life-changing it is. Reading this article is your first step, and you’re terrific for taking it.
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