Last year around this time I wrote about a generous end to 2009, and the importance of philanthropy. And because I believe that being generous of spirit leads to generosity with time and resources, today I wish our readers a thoughtful end to 2010. According to Merriam-Webster, some synonyms for “generosity” include philanthropy, unselfishness, bigheartedness, bountifulness, and liberality. Whether we give of our goodness, our time, or our financial resources, today and year-round we have the opportunity to express thoughtfulness and generosity. And that’s what we’ll take a peek at today as we bid adieu to 2010 and welcome 2011.

For so many people, generosity is a part of everyday life. It’s volunteering for church. It’s driving the car pool as a favor for a friend. It’s baking a batch of cookies for the neighbors. It’s the weekly volunteer gig at the local animal shelter. It’s the annual fund gift made to an alma mater, and monthly contributions made to a favorite non-profit organization. It’s the cheerful smile exchanged with a stranger at the grocery store. It’s being kind to other drivers during the morning commute. It’s an attitude of kindness expressed “just because.”

For me, the best part of generosity is that it’s an opportunity to give from the heart. We don’t need to spend a penny to be generous (although if we have some extra denero, it’s wonderful to share it with a worthy cause). And so I wish you and yours a thoughtful, generous end to 2010 and a gratitude and joy-filled 2011. Cheers!

* Photo by Allen Pope

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