Being Generous With Others

Generosity is giving in abundance. One of my favorite businesses of all time is Les Schwab Tires, formerly based out of Bend, Oregon. Les Schwab was a fixture in the area I grew up in. He placed an emphasis on generosity and sharing of profits with his employees. His profit sharing program, until his death, was one of the best in the nation. It made Costco look like small potatoes. Les passed away, his family took over and were slightly less generous, and now a California corporation owns the company and the generosity is running dry. So goes the world, as everything passes from the hands of savvy titans to soulless government-protected shell games (corporations). The Sam Walton’s and Henry Ford’s of the world have been precluded from prominence by unending committees of managerial clerks.

Generosity isn’t just an act of putting more credits than necessary into a transaction. It is an attitude. People who are generous are people who foster the development of others. This is an important gift. Every person has their interests to develop and their own level of maturity to improve. Being generous means you contribute to their success in this regard.

Quality, private healthcare is one of the greatest gifts a person can give to another person. It wipes so much of the underside off the board. Yet, it is not a right. You don’t have assumed privilege to someone else’s labor. They own it, not you. Not the State. Someone has to earn it. High earners who bestow this incredible gift on others are among the best of us.

Massive government programs are driving down social trust, by means which we may discuss at another time, and as a result, each successive generation tips less than the previous one. Some of it we can understand. It’s simply not the same people in service jobs as fifty years ago. Some of it is because there’s far less wealth to go around. It’s been hoovered out by the financial elite! But some of it is because people have lost the thread on what it means to be generous. People don’t care enough to gain and give. The incentives are gone from the environment and people stoop into fear, despair, and nihilism.

Giving starts with small acts. Your friend wants a bite of your food. You have a spare whatever that you know someone could use and so you gift it. You give your labor to a project someone is working on. You hold the door open for someone infirm. You tip extra. You give good advice. You make something nice or even beautiful and then just give it away to someone deserving. You are extra kind and attentive in your relationships. You put in that extra 20% effort that becomes the difference maker over time. These acts have a real world impact. They will help you and others rise and improve. But choose wisely who you are generous with.

Generosity is the real world. Welfare is the fake world.