What I learned from my father about generosity
One of the best things I remember about my dad is his generosity.
For example, when my husband and I decided to buy our own house, my father helped us financially so that we could afford the one we wanted to buy.
He also helped my husband grow his business by telling the bank that he would act as guarantor.
While all fathers do their best to provide for their families, the reason why I believe my dad was truly generous was because he gave with no strings attached.
Unlike some fathers, he never gave us a long lecture before providing help. In fact, sometimes he would volunteer to help if he found out we needed help.
Although we owe him a lot, he never brought up how indebted we were to him. He never used money as a bargaining chip to get what he wanted, which many fathers do to force their children to join the family business or to pursue their own dreams. The main reason why my dad could afford to be generous was because he lived simply.
He continued to live in the same house that he bought when he was newly married. He never renovated that house except to do some repairs and repainting.
He bought simple cars and used them as long as he could, saying that it would reduce the threat of robbers breaking into his car.
He also hardly went shopping and didn’t own many things. However, although my father was generous, he never gave more than he could afford to give. When I was having second thoughts about accepting his offer to help us financially, he told me not to worry because he wouldn’t help me unless he could afford to. He told me that if something happened to him, he had no one else to turn to.
This was brought to the test when my father suffered from a massive stroke that forced him to become bedridden for almost 10 years before he passed away. Although he had costly medical bills, the funds he left were more than enough to pay for those bills and to sustain my mother’s day-to-day expenses.
This made me realize that when we give, we also need to have enough set aside for emergencies and retirement. Otherwise, we might become a burden to our families when we grow old. If our children can’t give us the care that we think we deserve, we might also be disappointed and think that they are ungrateful.
Although my father is no longer here, his lessons on generosity will continue to live on as we, his children, apply them to our lives and as we touch the lives of others by also being generous ourselves. INQ