18. COVID-19: Generosity

My dear learning community,

“A fight is going on inside me,” said a father to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”

 

The son thought about it for a minute and then he asked, “Which wolf will win?”

 

The father replied simply, “The one you feed.”

 

This letter will be about COVID-19: Generosity

 

We are living in a very unusual, uncertain time. Fortunately, COVID-19 allows us the opportunity to feed the good wolf through generosity. 

 

I keep a small notebook where I write down quotes I like. I was looking at this notebook this morning, and these quotes about generosity jumped off the pages, demanding my attention. Here are my favorites:

 

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” 

Winston Churchill

 

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” 

Khalil Gibran

 

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice, and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” 

Confucius

 

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”

Albert Einstein

 

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Generosity is on my mind because some of us are having a harder time than others during this COVID-19 pandemic. I want to remind all of us to be generous at this time; it is the right thing to do.

 

For example, because of the lockdown orders, we have had to stock up on food and other necessities. The local vendors have increased their prices because of the demand, making it difficult for lower-income workers to afford the basic food items. The table below are some examples:

 

Item

Price before COVID-19

Price after COVID-19

1 tray of fish

₦2,000

₦2,500

1 small chicken

₦1,500

₦1,800

1 kilo of beef

₦1,200

₦1,500

1 basket of potatoes

₦1,500

₦1,800

1 basket of red chili 

₦1,000

₦1,300

1 basket of tomatoes

₦400

₦600

1 small bowl of rice

₦700

₦1,000

1 small bowl of sugar

₦700

₦900

1 small bowl of flour

₦450

₦600

1 portion of garri

₦450

₦800

1 portion of maize

₦120

₦200

 

Please, I want to urge each of you to display generosity to the people in your life who might be struggling to buy groceries right now. Make an extra plate of food for the security officers in your housing compounds. Give a food bonus to your cooks, drivers, stewards, cleaners, and gardeners, so they can afford to feed their families during this time. If your neighbors are struggling, surprise them with an unexpected box of groceries at their doorstep. Check on your colleagues to make sure they are ok during this period. Reach out.

 

Keep being Stallions, show your generosity. Feed the good wolf. Smile.

 

Always, with best regards, stay safe, Semper Gumby

 

Dawn Dekle, PhD

AUN President (Vice-Chancellor)

 

Teaser: stay tuned for the next letter from the desk of the AUN President, on the topic “COVID-19: Sing 4 Life”