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I am not generous, and yet...

How can I say that I am "not generous" when so many people say that I am?

I often like to check with people to see how I occur for them, both in positive and negative ways. I rarely get "negative" feedback, but when I do, I am grateful. The two top "positive" things that Chinese say about me are that I am wise and I am generous. 

Recently (January 2022), a Chinese reporter who attended my Sunday class asked me to do a feature article on my twenty-one years of living in China and what I am doing here. She said, "Other ex-pats come to China, make some money teaching English, and then leave. You've made your home here, you understand us and our culture, and you're giving away to us your great ideas on how to live a better life. How can you be so generous!?"

I've had friends and clients who were surprised that I was not angry or upset with them when they were late for our appointment or did not keep some other agreement with me. They indicated that I had a generous attitude of forgiveness about that.

Many people who act generously have one or more of the following motivations

  • They want to think of themselves as a generous person because they think they should be generous.

  • They want others to think well of them because they act generously.

  • They are trying to prove to themselves that they are generous.

  • They don't want others to be angry at them or blame them for not being generous.

  • They think God will think well of them for being generous.

  • They are expecting others to be generous back to them because they were generous first.

  • They are trying to pay back to another for that other person's generous acts.

  • They are trying to fit in and belong by acting generously.

  • They want to fulfill others' expectations that they should be generous.

What is my "generosity" motivated by?

  • I am loving the process of whatever I am doing with another that occurs as generous to them.

  • I am loving the feeling of power of being able to contribute to another.

  • I am appreciating their appreciation as expressed in the moment.

  • I am inspired by the feeling of connection involved with them allowing me to contribute to them.

  • In those circumstances in which I am not angry or blaming toward others when they break their agreement with me, I have already set it up so that I am happy in the game of interacting with them, including a willingness to accept the risk that they may not keep their word. If needed, I may adjust whatever I am willing to do with them and still ensure that I am taking care of myself.

  • Although I may enjoy looking good to others because it occurs to them that I am generous, I am not willing to do it beyond the point of not taking care of myself, both short-term and long-term.

All of these motivations ensure that I am acting selfishly with them when as am occurring as "unselfish and generous"

I am not being motivated by the same motivations that other "generous" people are as a result of their living inside the HOGAB and being dominated by the Old Ethics of Sacrifice. It's almost impossible for a resident of the HOGAB to understand how a person who didn't live in that house would be motivated to engage in behavior that occurred as generous.

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