The Hardest Part of Generosity
He was coughing on the plane. Constantly. Clearing his throat.
And he was across the aisle from me.
Now, I know we are in the post-mask phase of the pandemic, and maybe we aren’t so afraid of Covid, but it was kind of noticeable.
“Didn’t he read those warnings about not getting on the plane if you have a cold or cough?” I wondered.
But then again, I realized we are in the peak of allergy season. And you know what? I have allergies too.
Sometimes it makes me prone to cough and clear my throat.
That debate of sickness or allergies was ringing around in my head until it occurred to me: I had a cough drop in my backpack. So I reached in, tapped him on the shoulder, and handed it to him with a smile. He laughed and said, “Oh, thank you!”
He stopped coughing and clearing his throat. Sure enough, he told me about his allergies.
Boom. It strikes me that’s the hardest thing about generosity.
To pay attention.
Too often I let these voices rattle around in my head. Voices that get annoyed. Voices that tell me I shouldn’t. Voices that hold me back.
Instead of listening to the negative voices, I can just notice what the need is.
How about you?
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
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Published May 16, 2022