Courage vs. Generosity

Life takes courage.

Well,  I’ve always thought so—but recently I’ve been wondering if we call on courage too hastily…

How so? First, I’ve observed a very fine line between courage and stupidity. I realize that when I summon courage, there’s a good chance that stupidity might show up instead. Second, the mere mention of courage suggests that something formidable is about to happen—something to fear. While, for sure, there have and will be situations in life that require great courage, I’m facing nothing of that magnitude currently. It’s more like, as winter follows its course, a touch of despondency is making it hard to stick to mine.

Should I beat the drums and invoke the “life takes courage” call to action? No. For this I need something more consistent…

Something like GENEROSITY.

But not just the garden variety. Not just openhandedness or altruism. We’re talking about something far bigger. More like a readiness to respond to all things with an unconditional outflow of energy. Unlike courage, it’s not a power surge to meet a particular challenge. Generosity is an orientation towards life—a way of being in the world.

To be generous in this way is to be in sync with the universe. Why? Because generosity is the nature of the universe. Yep. Because we like to think we are in control we tend to overlook this—but the reality is that you, me, and the whole shebang – we are kept in motion solely by generosity. By a mysterious something’s infinite willingness to keep on bringing life forth.

Okay. It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate this. What’s clear is that the universe, unlike me, doesn’t drag its feet. It doesn’t complain about having to empty the dishwasher, organize its sock drawer, or about inclement weather. It doesn’t grab an analgesic, a pancake, or attribute its present situation to someone else’s spiteful interference. And—can you imagine what would happen if it decided to take a holiday?! Such an occurrence would instantly reduce you, me, and everyone else to inert lumps of flesh. Heavens! No… the good thing about the universe is that, through thick and thin, it just keeps on giving.

Okay—so it’s clear that without this mysterious and ongoing generosity we would cease to exist —but how does knowing that help me in my day-to-day life?

Like this.

When I’m listless and want to shirk on my commitments, I can look outside myself and notice, once again, how nothing stops the flow of life. There’s no beating on drums or chests. No battle cries. Just an infinite willingness to keep on giving. So, if I want to be in sync with the universe, it follows that all I have to do is to surrender to the wellspring of generosity that a mysterious something put inside me. All I have to do is to keep on showing up wholeheartedly for the task at hand. There’s no need for theatrics. Just quietly keep on bringing life forth.

Nadine graduated the Professional Coaching Course in 2015. More writing and coaching info can be found on her website.