For me, one of the best feelings in life is to be generous. I use the principle of generosity whenever I leave a tip at a restaurant. I know it may sound crazy, but I frequently leave tips that are more than 20%. I know what it’s like to be a server. Not only did I wait on tables a long time ago in a galaxy far away, but both of our children have done the same. I know that generosity when dealing with those who serve us is one of the best and quickest ways to get money to people who really need it.
Generosity certainly works outside of a restaurant as well. Our future daughter-in-law, Emily, owns and runs a jewelry business called Consider the Wldflwrs. It all started with a web site, an Instagram feed, and jewelry she made out of things she found at the local flea market. Now the business has employees, clients all over the country, and a brick and mortar store.
Recently I saw someone post the following in response to a Consider the Wldflwrs Instagram post:
I lost all three of my mid finger rings when I took my gloves off in the parking lot the other day. Was a sad sad sad day! :’-(
I had an idea. I texted Emily and said, “Why don’t you send her three new rings?” Emily loved the idea. A little while later she texted me a picture of what she had done: She packaged up three new rings in a perfect little box and included a note that said:
We saw that you lost your rings and wanted you to try MIDI rings again. These are a gift from us to you!
I promise you that Consider the Wldflwrs has now won a lifetime fan. I’m certain that this customer will recommend Consider the Wldflwrs to her friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if she purchases items in the future far surpassing the worth of those three free rings.
In a world that seems to only take away, people are surprised by generosity. They remember it. They value it. They are taken aback by it.
The Joie de Vivre hotel brand lives by this philosophy. It’s a chain of hotels that operates under the principle of its name: “the joy of life.” These hotels are notorious for being generous. They have been known to do research on their customers so that they can tailor the experience to the particular preferences of their guest. As a result the chain has gained raving fans. This reputation has given me the itch to stay in one of their hotels. They recently opened one in Miami Beach, so maybe I’ll have the opportunity soon.
Generosity is great business practice. But it’s also great personal practice. In fact, true generosity means giving something without expecting anything in return.
The feeling one gets in the very act of giving generously is a gift in and of itself. I love treating my servers well. I enjoy walking away from a restaurant wondering what the server is thinking when she looks at the signed check.
The simplest way to make the best out of generosity is to just do it.
What act of generosity can you carry out today?