I’ll admit when I hear the word “generosity”, the first thing that comes to mind is giving monetarily…especially around the holidays. And that’s usually what people are referring to.
They want you to be generous with your money to help this cause or that cause. And I’m ok with that. The world is a troubled place and if we have the means to help those less fortunate with a monetary contribution, we should.
But there’s an even more valuable currency than the all mighty dollar. A currency that used to be valued much more highly than it seems to be today. A currency that if we thought about more often…and used more often…we might actually start to alleviate the need for some of the monetary donations.
The currency I’m taking about is our “human” currency. Every day…with every word and action…we make a contract with another individual. We decide what we are willing to commit to…what we are comfortable exchanging…the kind of investment we are willing to make…how we want to be perceived. And the thoughts…words…actions…associated with those agreements come with a cost.
For every promise made that we don’t follow through on, we damage our credibility…possibly lowering our value in the eyes of another. Every time we have to apologize for not following through on a commitment, there’s a chance we may have to deduct the good deeds we banked. Each time we disappoint someone because our actions were less than stellar, maybe we lose valuable points toward the value of our integrity. I think you get the point.
Nowadays it’s so easy to apologize. To buy someone a gift to make up for a mistake. To blame another person or a situation. But each time we do that, we’ve impacted our own credibility score, no different than paying a bill late has the potential to impact our credit score. We just don’t think of it like that.
We assume that because we aren’t actually paying a monetary debt that we aren’t paying something…that we aren’t losing something we’ve worked so hard to invest and grow.
Since retiring, I’ve learned to value money in a completely different way than before. Earning $100 feels more like $1000 because I’m electing to spend my time doing work that feels more rewarding thus increasing the value I place on it.
And since retiring, I’m learning to value relationships differently too. I have the time to pay attention to words and actions and I have the intention to see the best in people. As a result, I’m aware of how valuable every relationship is. I know which ones I’m willing to invest a little more in by means of effort…or forgiveness…or gratitude. And I know which ones seem to be losing ground…so it may be time to cut my losses.
I think if we stepped back and thought about how people use and receive human currency, our relationships would be healthier…we’d value ourselves higher — especially, our words and actions…and we’d look to make the best investments possible. Don’t you want to be the best investment possible? I sure do.