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Generosity (also called largess) is the virtue of not being tied down by concerns about one's possessions. Often it means to provide help to others by giving them an (usually precious) item without thinking twice.
In times of natural disaster, relief efforts are frequently provided, voluntarily, by individuals or groups acting unilaterally in making gifts of time, resources, goods, money, etc.
Generosity can also be spending time, money, or labor for others without being rewarded in return.
Although the term generosity often goes hand-in-hand with charity, many people in the public's eye want recognition for their good deeds. Donations are needed to support organizations and committees, however, generosity should not be limited to times of great need such as natural disasters and extreme situations.
Generosity is not solely based on one's economic status, but instead, includes the individual's pure intentions of looking out for society's common good and giving from the heart. Generosity should reflect the individual's passion to help others.
The modern English word "generosity" derives from the Latin word generōsus, which means "of noble birth," which itself was passed down to English through the Old French word généreux. The Latin stem gener– is the declensional stem of genus, meaning "kin," "clan," "race," or "stock," with the root Indo-European meaning of gen being "to beget." The same root gives us the words genesis, gentry, gender, genital, gentile, genealogy, and genius, among others.
Most recorded English uses of the word "generous" up to and during the Sixteenth Century reflect an aristocratic sense of being of noble lineage or high birth. To be generous was literally a way of complying with nobility."
During the 17th Century, however, the meaning and use of the word began to change. Generosity came increasingly to identify not literal family heritage but a nobility of spirit thought to be associated with high birth— that is, with various admirable qualities that could now vary from person to person, depending not on family history but on whether a person actually possessed the qualities. In this way generosity increasingly came in the 17th Century to signify a variety of traits of character and action historically associated (whether accurately or not) with the ideals of actual nobility: gallantry, courage, strength, richness, gentleness, and fairness. In addition to describing these diverse human qualities, "generous" became a word during this period used to describe fertile land, the strength of animal breeds, abundant provisions of food, vibrancy of colors, the strength of liquor, and the potency of medicine.
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