Is Generosity an Antidote to Toxicity?

“Be nice. Don’t be a dick.” is surprisingly sage advice.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Toxic behavior is inherently deeply selfish.

I’m not going to get into the attendant psychology of toxicity — there’s plenty written about that already elsewhere — and instead just state my own view, which is most toxic behavior is inherently deeply selfish. Entitlement, arrogance, superiority, and being judgmental are all aspects of the self, often accompanied by a lack of concern for the feelings of others and established by societal norms, including through parents, family, community, religion and education.

Ghandi was onto something when he said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Generosity and empathy are socially powerful traits. In this context, I’m using a broad definition of generosity to mean “freely giving something of value to someone in need, without an expectation of a return”. This can include time, effort, emotional support, advice, consideration, and patience as well as material things like possessions or money*. My point here is that real generosity is closely tied to empathy, in that you’re giving something that has value both to you and the person receiving it.

“I got here through determination, intelligence,and taking risks, with nothing but my Ivy league education, family connections, and small trust fund.” It’s a stock photo, but you get the picture. (Emre Alırız on Unsplash)

Thinker. Technologist. Tasmanian.

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