As an emerging poet a few years ago, I met with some well-established poets who took me under their wings. They encouraged me, guided me, spent time with me and, most of all, gave me self belief. They had no reason to be particularly kind to me or to include me in their events and poetic lives but they did. Their prominence grew and still I was included.
I am extremely fortunate to have met some really genuine people over the last few years, and the one thing they have in common is generosity. They have been generous with their advice, generous with their praise, generous with their support and, most of all, generous with their time. Without their generosity I certainly wouldn't have a blog page and I probably wouldn't write anything either.
We all have the ability to influence others, whether that be in a positive or a negative way. I'm sure we would all like to think that we are positive and inspiring to others. We may not go out of our way to do so, things constantly come across our paths and the situations are there for us to react to as we will. Sometimes it may be a situation we have been in before, a question raised before, another boring event for a good cause but, it is how we react that demonstrates our generosity.
I would never knowingly offend or demoralise those with whom I rub shoulders. However, I am not blind to the fact that some people, maybe unknowingly (to give them the benefit of the doubt), do not have the ability to be generous. They are self motivated, confident, experienced in the world of writing and performing and seek only to further themselves. They, too, are given the same opportunities to encourage new talent, offer a little moral support, take someone under their wing if only fleetingly. But in an instant the new comer is dismissed, their work trivialised, their confidence shattered. Ten people can tell you that your work is good and shows promise, it only takes one to make you put down your pen. I was unfortunate enough to see this take place recently. We poetry types are known for our tolerance and politeness as an audience; shame on that person who doesn't understand the meaning of generosity.