The practice of generosity can serve as a corrective to addictive consumerism. Generosity enacts the quality of nongreed; it is a willingness to share, to let go. It may be giving of time, energy, resources, love, and even in rare cases, one's own life for the benefit and welfare of others. Generosity weakens the tendency of attachment and grasping and is intimately connected with the feeling of lovingkindness. People who experience the power and joy of generosity will also experience its effect on consuming. The cultivation of generosity offers a very strong antidote to the wanting mind and would be a powerful corrective if taken up in a widespread way across our culture.
To cultivate generosity directly is another fundamental part of living a spiritual life. Like the training precepts and like our inner meditations, generosity can actually be practiced. With practice, its spirit forms our actions, and our hearts will grow stronger and lighter. It can lead to new levels of letting go and great happiness.
What would happen if we made giving more important that getting in our lives? Wouldn't we be much more free in our spirits?