Who is the most generous person in the world today? Ask folks in the West, and the most popular answer would probably be Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. For good reason, too. According to Business Insider’s 2015 ranking of the 20 most generous people in the world, Gates comes in first, with $27 billion in lifetime donations. But is Gates really a generous person? That seems like an absurd question. What more could anyone ask of him?
However, virtues such as generosity are complicated. They involve more than just outward behaviour. A person’s underlying thoughts, feelings and motives matter, too. If those aren’t in good shape, then one cannot qualify as a generous person. The same holds for other virtues, such as compassion, humility and forgiveness.
So what more is involved in being a generous person besides consistently donating one’s money, time and resources?