“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Simone Weil
This is the quote that kicked off the UUA Pacific Western Region Generosity Initiative Weekend in Phoenix February 15-17, 2019. Here’s a photo. From left to right: Me, Janet Evans, Bob Evans, Catherine Marsh and Carol Teal.\
The five of us spent the weekend with UUs from nine other congregations exploring generosity. We learned a lot, and the team will be sharing more with you in the weeks and months to come.
The goal of this program is to create an intentional plan for growing generosity in all aspects of the congregation. Wait a minute – not just generosity in our pledge canvass and financial giving? That’s right – generosity includes giving money and a whole lot more.
Generosity includes giving yourself the benefit of the doubt, remembering your worthiness. It includes offering someone else generous assumptions (the benefit of doubt) which Brene Brown teaches about in her BRAVING model. (See below or click here.) It involves giving someone attention; looking them in the eye; listening to their story; truly connecting to them. Generosity must include receiving because if we don’t receive well, the person who gives can’t truly give.
So here are a few questions for you to ponder with a friend:
What other forms of generosity can you think of?
Who taught you about generosity?
How well are you doing at receiving?
And here is more about BRAVING, an acronym for how to trust, from Brene Brown’s book – Braving the Wilderness.
Boundaries – You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.
Reliability – You do what you say you’re going to do. This means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over promise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities.
Accountability – You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.
Vault – You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential.
Integrity – You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.
Non-judgement – I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgement.
Generosity – You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.
PS – When I mention an article or book in a sermon, I link to it here: http://uuchurchofboulder.org/kellys-reading-list/. That way you can explore if you would like!