What makes someone a generous person? What makes us respond to others? There is a moment when you give it thought—maybe you will, maybe you won’t help out another person. You start pondering generosity; the consequence becomes much bigger, much more powerful, much more—here’s the word—transformational to the individual. Or not.
So often, we make assumptions that generosity has no limits. This is false. It has a lot of limits. In fact, there are ceilings to it. And bursting through those ceilings is where your personal spiritual growth comes in. I’m not saying one form of generosity is better than another. If I’m freezing, I will take your coat in the moment, versus your philosophical idea of how you think I can change my life. What I am saying is that I want you to consider how you perceive the other, and why you perceive the other as you do. This is about investigating why we give; why we see others as we do, why we give so much—but not this. Why it’s easy for us to volunteer our time at a church social, but we simply cannot volunteer at a hospice. Why we draw the boundaries we do around our generous acts.
A man shared with me a story that summarizes this. He said to me, “Caroline, if one of my best friends asked me for a thousand dollars to help pay their rent and put food on the table for their kids, I wouldn’t hesitate. But if that same friend asked me for a thousand dollars to start a business, I wouldn’t even consider it.”
I asked, “Why? What’s the difference?”
“I’ll tell you what the difference is,” he said. “I will help my friend get by, but I will not help him pass me by.” The sting of truth lies in that story.
When you learn that empowering someone else empowers yourself and all of humanity at the same time, you will not hesitate to help others. Invisible Acts of Power is about taking a look at service as a personal spiritual journey. We ourselves become embodiments of invisible acts of power as we respond naturally and automatically with love, compassion, and kindness to people around us. When we choose to do this, we are in touch with Divine impulse, and we are likely to create transformation for ourselves and each other every day.