Guilt-triggered generosity

There are different types of human generosity. T-he first type of generosity is goaded by an ulterior motive or secret intent.

Apparently, here a person, indulging in generosity, is looking at some mileage in return. In contradistinction, the second type is the selfless, sublime kind, sans expectations. The third is the quid pro quo type, where our generosity is a mere reciprocation of something we received earlier.

However, there is yet another type – the guilt-triggered generosity. An instance is that of morally bankrupt politicos, who perennially keep plunging into immoral activities, but when pummeled by potent guilt blows, promptly get into pseudo- philanthropic acts, proffering alms to the penury-stricken, so as to protect themselves from possible sins.

Even among the venal businessmen, we spot this guilt-tri-ggered generosity, where they slip into redemptive charities, just to absolve themselves of sins. (This guilt-triggered generosity is somewhat the type a perverted person, in an extramarital liaison, shows towards his spouse, by showering her with gifts, just to make amends for his errant behaviour!).

Once, a friend was saying, “Last week, I lambasted my la-zy maid for having loused up the cooking when I had guests. But later, persecuted by guilt, I hiked up her pay. Now, knowing I easily feel penitent, she keeps playing the ‘devils advocate’, purposely provoking me, so that later out of profound guilt, I might ply her with plenty of perks. I have now realised, if people around kn-ow that your generosity springs soon after your spasms of guilt, they can easily exploit you, taking undue advantage of the situation.”

This guilt-sparked generosity is also seen in the case of hi-gh-flying parents, wherein to compensate their time-giving inadequacy, they try showering their kids with high-end gifts. Same guilt-driven generosity, the grown-up children, too, try showing towards their old parents! In both the cases, it isn’t realised that it is the gift of ti-me/ presence of concerned individuals that matters more than their materialistic gifts.

Of course, not always guilt-engendered generosity has the fallout of undesired effects. But still, it does call for revising/ rethinking of those generosity moves, following guilt-bouts, lest it could act counterproductive many times.

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