Friday, September 2, 2011

The Spirit Of Generosity...via The Most Interesting Man In The World

When you pay for just yourself, you usually get what you pay for.”
- The Most Interesting Man In The World

You’ve seen the commercials on TV. A mature, attractive, well-dressed gentleman looks provocatively into the camera and shares his thoughts…pearls of wisdom… acquired during a lifetime of globe-hopping and adventure. He is…The Most Interesting Man In The World.

It’s all done very tongue-in-cheek, and there’s even a website with his quotes and quips -

Last night, I was mulling over his latest quote - “When you pay just for yourself, you usually get what you pay for.” Taken at face value, it just implies that he gets more chicks when he buys the beer. However as I ponder further, a deeper more philosophical message is revealed.

Think about it. We all end up footing the bill occasionally. How do you feel when it happens to you? Do you expect the girl (or guy) to sleep with you because you bought the beer? Are you distressed, because you just shelled out money from your 401k that you’ll probably never see again? Are you angry because you feel used or taken advantage of? Do you immediately ask the question “what’s in it for me?” and wonder when, or if, you’ll be reimbursed in some form or fashion for your contribution? Or is life more of a give and take proposition? Sometimes you buy the beer…occasionally someone buys you a beer…like karma…what goes around, comes around...

You realize, of course, I’m using the purchase of beer as an analogy for generosity. It could be beer. Or it could be something else. It could be a simple act of kindness. What it is, isn’t important. What IS important is the spirit in which it’s given. I’m not talking about blowing money foolishly, or spending cash you don‘t have in a vain attempt to buy friends, approval, or love. I’m speaking of a realistic, genuine spirit of generosity.

Generous people are happy, confident people. They rarely feel taken advantage of, or expect to be paid back…because for the truly generous person, the joy derived from the act of giving IS the payback. On the other hand, miserly people are never happy. For those unfortunate individuals, life is a spreadsheet with four columns:

1. What I’ve done for others
2 What I expect in return
3. What others have done for me
4. What is the minimum I must give back in return?

Misers live in fear that others are out to get them. They’re always on guard…taking count…keeping score. They live for the bottom line. Yes, misers are a joy-less bunch. They insist on paying only for themselves…and they almost always get what they pay for.

Back to The Most Interesting Man In The World. Tightwads aren’t that fun to be around…nor are they particularly interesting. However, TMIMITW is always surrounded by lots of beautiful women who do indeed seem to find him interesting. He looks pretty happy and confident. And he’s buying…

Could it be, that during his lifetime of globe-hopping and adventure he’s discovered the key to happiness is a joyful, generous spirit?

Life is full of teachable moments. Inspiration is everywhere…even in a beer commercial. Stay thirsty, my friends…


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