Generosity as a virtue on your hero's journey with Kim Trumbo

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Today’s guest is Kim Trumbo, host of the Generosity Philosophy podcast. I invited Kim on to talk about generosity and what it means for our journey on our path to health, wealth, wisdom and happiness.

In it’s broadest sense, generosity refers to the quality or virtue of not being tied down by our possessions. Generosity is considered a virtue that is related to giving, forgiving, charity.

We often think of someone who is generous as someone who gives money to charity or who volunteers with their time, but I think that’s really just one piece of what it means to be generous. Giving money and time is very important but when someone gives with an expectation of return for that giving I think it’s something less than a true spirit of generosity at work. And there is a difference.

I think generosity is a mindset that is based on a desire to think beyond our own personal needs and wants and to care about others: Generosity is exemplified in a heartfelt acceptance of the commandment that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

You can subscribe to Kim's podcast through all the various podcast apps or at

To find out more about Kim's book, George the Generous Giraffe, visit http://sendmegeorgesbook.comor Text the word George to 33444 to receive a 3-page PDF with colorable images from the book.

I think it can be helpful to look at word etymology to get a deeper understanding of certain concepts because often times we begin to use words somewhat carelessly and with that we lose some of the nuance of meaning that can help us better understanding ourselves and make sense of our world and our journey through it.

Without making this a full-on lesson in linguistics and word origin, here’s a quick overview from the Wikipedia page on generosity.

If we go back to the earliest Latin, gener refers to kin or clan and has a root meaning in our Indo-European language of gen being to beget. Other words with the same root include: genesis, gentry, gender, genealogy, and genius.

In the earliest English usage of generous, the word referred to noble lineage, something from the aristocracy—the landed gentry, if you will. If you were of noble birth you had certain duties to fulfill, among those patronage and support of those who served your family and community.

But beginning during the 17th century, the usage of the word began to move away from something tied to family heritage toward a sense of being a quality that anyone could possess. Generosity became something more in the nature of a character trait associated with the ideas and virtues exemplified by the best of the aristocracy.

According to wikipedia, the term generous was also used in the 17th century to quote describe fertile land, abundance of food, vibrancy of colors, the strength of liquor, and the potency of medicine.” end quote

By the 18th century, generosity was being used in the context of a willingness to give freely to others, both money and possessions and, Wikipedia tells us, by the 19th century this became the common usage of generosity in English language.

So we see this shift from the time of the Renaissance and Enlightenment from the concept of generosity as a virtue expected as a result of one’s birth to the idea that generosity was something more, something available to everyone. Generosity became a quality that anyone could possess who sought to act in accordance with the principles of a virtuous character.

And if we consider generosity in the context of our personal hero’s journey, we typically see a hero as someone who possesses more virtues than vices and someone who is striving to live in a way that’s consistent with virtues.

If we look at the great heroes of literature, we see characters who are, ultimately, after much inner turmoil willing to face their obstacles and give freely of themselves to others, whether through acts of bravery in facing danger to save someone or through offering assistance in times of trouble. From Odysseus to Frodo Baggins to Luke Skywalker to Harry Potter.

I think the stories and conversations that Kim is sharing through her Generosity Philosophy podcast demonstrate that each of us have the capacity to be a hero to someone or something so I hope you enjoy learning more about the valuable work that Kim is doing to bring these stories to the broader world to inspire us all.

I hope you’ll check out the Generosity Philosophy Podcast which is available on all the various podcast platforms where you might choose to listen and subscribe. you can also subscribe and download at the website,

You can find links to the website and texting instructions in the show notes for this episode, available at or just visit the blog section of the website to find it.

Don’t forget about Kim’s book, George the Generous Giraffe. It’s a great resource for helping kids learn more about generosity and what it means to help others.

If you like the Discover Grow Shinecast, please visit to subscribe to the free newsletter, which features tips and hacks on moving forward in your own hero’s journey.What you get in the newsletter is not the same as what you get on the website or in the podcast and I think you’ll find it useful.

Do something today to discover more about yourself or the broader world, put it to use in someway to grow, and shine in your own life.

Text the phrase “I am a hero” 33444 to receive 25 simple ideas to be generous each day

10 episodes available. A new episode about every 25 days averaging 35 mins duration .