Be Generous: Embracing the Humanity in Others

We recently shared all of our values at Box of Crayons. These are things we strive for as an organization. How do we embed them? By drawing on them to help us make decisions and navigate complex situations. By collectively being grounded in them so we have a shared way of being with each other at work. By using them to animate how we engage with one another and show up in the world.

This week we’re focusing on our second value:

BE GENEROUS

Share authentically. Assume positive intent. Meet others where they are.
Engagement even over excellence.

In a basic, obvious sense of “being generous”, Box of Crayons seeks to put out into the world content and resources that are helpful to others. We want people to take it, use it and be transformed by it.

But this value means more to us than that. It speaks to a generosity of time and spirit. It’s an authentic way of engaging with others that’s grounded in empathy, humility and openness. We assume people are showing up with good intentions, which helps to reframe how we see other people or situations.

In the reflection below, Dr. Chantal Thorn reflects on how the value “Be Generous” has shown up in her personal life.

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A Love Note to My Two-Year-Old Son

A man has been spending his days under one of the trees in the park behind our house. At night, he goes across the street and sleeps by the pharmacy door. In the morning, he makes his way to the park and sets up camp under a tree again, right beside where we play. He’s not begging. He doesn’t have a sign. He’s existing … and I can’t stop thinking about him.

Empathy and sympathy are not things that I struggle with. In fact, I find it overwhelmingly easy to take on others’ pain and emotion. One of Daddy’s friends even said once that I had a bleeding heart — you know, that I was excessively sympathetic.

All of this is to explain that what you taught me on Saturday was a new level of human connection and, as always, I want to thank you for it.

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Box of Crayons

Box of Crayons helps organizations transform from advice-driven to curiosity-led.