Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Generosity or Manipulation

Have you ever tried to control the outcome of something you cared about? Maybe you try and control your children’s behavior or you try and exert control over a big project at work. If you strive to do it in your own strength, your main weapon is almost certainly manipulation. But the minute manipulation is inserted into your arsenal your efforts are no longer aligned with the Kingdom. They are now your own efforts to control your world for your personal benefit.

You cannot be a Generous Mind and rely on manipulation to influence the world. A Generous Mind gives freely from their ideas without trying to control them. That doesn’t mean that those ideas don’t end up in products and services that can produce a return for you. However it does mean that a Generous Mind does not invest time in manipulating the way the ideas are used for their personal benefit.

The line between a productive idea and a manipulative idea is fine and fuzzy. That is because it mostly has to do with motivations of the heart rather than a list of “do’s or don’ts.”
If you release an idea productively, you make it available in ways that are focused on your readers and will be useful to them. For example, a Generous Mind who came up with a new cookbook for children might realize that a DVD product to accompany the book would be an excellent way for the children to interact with the cooking process and get a sense for how to participate with their mom or dad. The desire is to see the idea used more fully and the result is a new product that adds value to the customer and is sustainable for the author.
But if you are releasing an idea in manipulative ways, that is different on many levels.  One example of a manipulative mind is the contract that governs how your ideas are released. Many of these contracts are written to confuse and discourage your audience rather than to empower them with the idea you have brought to life. The way your contracts are written is an important indicator of your desire to be generous.
As I continue to process Tim Jore’s book “The Christian Commons,” one of the things that has jumped out at me is the manipulation that often exists in the contractual process. Tim describes one of the main advantages of a Creative Commons license as follows, “Every Creative Commons license includes a human-readable summary of the license. In a few clear paragraphs, the license summary explains exactly what the legal code (the actual license) does, in terms that do not require a degree in copyright law to understand.” (pg. 233)
This “human-readable summary” is an effort by the group behind the Creative Commons to be clear and open with what the rights and restrictions are. This makes the contract an open document rather than an effort to manipulate the audience through smoke and mirrors.
As you share your ideas with the world, are your motives focused on generosity or manipulation?

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