Corey Michael Blake of the Round Table Companies just posted some appreciation of a casting director who gave him a good chance as an actor. Unfortunately I cannot pull up the post again and state the casting director’s name, but Corey said that this man showed him generosity “in an industry where it is not required.” It was a nice thanks and recognition. I will also add that Corey is a good and generous man himself.
Anyway, the “industry where it is not required” got me thinking immediately. I don’t think there are many industries where generosity is required, and there seem to be too many where it is in terribly short supply.
I think that true generosity of spirit and action come from the heart, and it is a lovely thing when they appear. Spontaneous generosity carries warming and expansive energy with it. It touches people in the heart. It warms like the sun. And I believe it is possible to demonstrate it anywhere!
Back in the 1970’s I was a certified addictions counselor for Horry County, South Carolina, where Myrtle Beach is located. Back then Myrtle Beach was MUCH less developed than it is today, and the city of Conway, the county seat, was a pretty quiet place. Our Alcohol and Drug Abuse office was across from the county jail.
One jailer in particular called our office a number of times when he had an inmate who was in for drunkenness or impairment, and he thought they could use our help. This man carried this quiet wisdom and air of kindness that always impressed me.
One day when I was over at the jail I said to him, “You know, you have a wonderful air of peace and kindness about you. How do you keep that up here?” He smiled, gestured toward the holding cells, and said, “There but for the grace of God go I. I could very easily be on the other side of the bars.”
I always thought this man was an incredible gift to the inmates and anyone else he came into contact with. He lived a marvelous generosity of spirit.
A county jail is not the most likely place in the world to find such generosity of spirit. It was so nice to find it there.