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Kim Monson – Generosity

Brad Beck explains that people and organizations that provide a service or fill a need do not tend not to violate rights, rather they make their communities a better place. He notes when they do their giving without the coercion of force, they are moral and decent in their pursuits.


There is an old story about the lion, the wolf, and the dog. A lion seized upon a doe and was about to have it as a meal. As he was standing over his prize, a wolf stepped up to him, and impudently claimed to get halves. No! said the lion, you are too apt to take what is not your due. I therefore shall never have anything to do with you. In a commanding tone he said, “I insist on your immediate departure out of my sight.”  A poor honest dog who happened to be passing by heard what was going on. He modestly withdrew, intending to go about another way upon which the lion kindly invited him to come forward and partake with him of the feast to which his modesty had given him so good a title.

The lion was generous with his catch with the dog who recognized his modesty. The lion did not have to share, yet out of benevolence offered the dog some of his meal. The wolf, like the government, often demands and takes what is not theirs by the monopoly of force.

Perhaps you have experienced where people left to their own devices are generous with what they produce or acquire through persistence and determination. For some, it is a good feeling they receive by investing in their fellow man or community out of benevolence or charity. For others it’s part of who they are, and the philanthropy built into their business. This is one reason profit is good for business and society. People earn money and can decide to give that money away after their needs are met. They can invest in their philanthropic endeavors.  ResQ coffees in Longmont, CO is a prime example of this.

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One morning Lynn was driving down to her coffee bean roasting business, when she saw the Liberty Toastmasters sign in front of the building where the club was meeting. A few minutes later she appeared with a carafe of uniquely roasted coffee along with cups, cream, stirrers, sugar, coffee tops, and mints; all delivered without expectation of payment and done with delight in giving. When I asked Lynn why she donates to so many other organizations she responded, “Giving is who we are. It’s part of our belief in investing in others.” Lynn, like many people, is authentic and sincere in her giving. People like Lynn, with their conviction and action, are rewarded enough by their generosity, unlike the wolf who commanded by force. Lynn and her company are benevolent. They reap the rewards of giving because they want to, not because they must. It also makes for good business. I am now a customer of ResQ coffees.

My friend Terri presented a speech at a club contest titled, “People Just Give You Money? “Her speech was about her work at the Colorado Horse Rescue in Longmont, CO. It is a non-profit that started out as a shelter and rehabilitation facility that cared for abused and neglected horses. Today the organization also rehomes horses and educates equine enthusiasts. Terri says, “Think of giving to a non-profit as an investment in your beliefs. You invest, and they do the service that you believe needs to be done. Of course, you can’t invest until you’ve earned capital yourself.” When she is asked, “do people just give you money?” she replies, “No. People invest in a service that they see as important.” Terri understands the generosity of her donors and why they voluntarily give to her organization.

Generosity is not just about giving money. For many, it is investing their time in their community service or service clubs. These organizations such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and my personal favorite, Optimist International, are resources in their community focusing on local needs and take action to fill those needs. As an example, my service club the Optimist Club of Erie is known as “The Friend of Youth.”  We focus all our efforts on providing youth in our town with scholarships, school programs, and support. The community can invest by participating in those events and our members invest their time in constructing and executing them. As volunteers we are generous with our time because we see an opportunity to be part of the fabric of our community. The more we do ourselves, the less we need government to intercede in areas where they need not tread.

In Dr. Thomas Krannawitter’s book, “An Introduction to Citizenship for New Americans” he explains, the American people must pursue their civic virtues of self-restraint, self-assertion, civic knowledge, and self-reliance. “Political freedom requires limited government – that is, a government that for the most part leaves people alone, while ensuring that their rights are secured. But limited government is risky. When people are left alone, they might be tempted to violate the rights of others, or live irresponsibly, depending on others with money and resources to care for them.”

People and organizations that provide a service or fill a need do not tend to not violate rights, rather to make their community a better place. People have all sorts of reasons for being generous with their time, treasure, and talent. If they do their giving without the coercion of force, they are moral and decent in their pursuits. Once someone or a society has an “impudent claim to go halves” and are “too apt to take what is not their due” they become a society that is corrupt, immoral, and evil.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once stated, “Generosity wins favor for everyone. Especially when it is accompanied by modesty.”


Brad Beck

Bradley is a Husband, Father, GrandBrad, Toastmaster-DTM, Optimist & 360 Guy. He lives in Boulder County.

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