There's a piece by the writer and academic Neil Cummings called 'Generosity' and I can't stop thinking about it. Here's a little taster:
'Give. Give again. Keep giving. Don’t stop. Don’t expect something in return, don’t calculate. Don’t calculate a return. Don’t financialize. Don’t compete. Don’t worry if it’s too much, or not enough. Give what you can. Maybe a bit more than you can. Keep giving. Give. Give again. Don’t stop. This is to give generously.
Generosity is radically other. Its not a property, nor is it gendered, and its not in the eye of the beholder. It’s a collective, temporary evaluation, fleeting, explosive, and transformational. Generosity converts specific values, very valuable values, perhaps the most precious values, into a currency. Generosity embodies and distributes these values. And as such, generosity is always emergent, always a creative inter-subjective practice. Generosity creates and distributes a radical subjectivity.
Generosity is our future, inhabit it. Give. Give generously, keep giving, and don’t stop. Don’t expect something in return, don’t calculate, quantify, and don’t financialize. Give and receive precious things, give the most precious things, and give them to strangers. Keep giving and receiving. Don’t stop.
When we say 'economy', we think finance. But the economy I'm interested in is based on generosity: Community, not competition, sharing resources, being open and reciprocal in our relationships. Giving and giving again.
Sometimes it means fundamentally shutting up that self preservation instinct that pipes up at opportune moments. Sometimes it means missing out in order for others to move forward. Sometimes it means challenging the system that tells us growth and gain are the key indicators of success. But it comes back around; it just does.
Generosity has built this website. It's shaped my career and been the basis of my most precious friendships. It's the place from which thoughtful, brilliant and necessary work comes, and the reason why you might not have heard who initiated it. It's the quiet, unassuming lifeblood of all I see that's good and I think it's time to shout it's praises a little more loudly.