hey Frank I disagree with you here because I think you are neglecting one major aspect to generosity. There is a cost associated with generosity despite what some might try to claim, there is. The part you are missing is that any time you exercise generosity you are actually giving up something, like time, labor, money, space, ect.
Now that might seem obvious, but what you are trying to insist when you say;
"I think you need some lessons in what it means to actually help others, including your friend and that it's not always convenient."
You are basically saying that he is obligated to make a sacrifice of time, labor, space to his friend. That one should always accommodate a friend when ever they need it. But that is not the healthy thing to do, sure it might be thoughtful or admirable but it is not always healthy to always make sacrifices for others. When you give too much, you can leave yourself short of what you need for yourself and that can cause problems that are unnecessary.
He clearly pointed out why he couldn't accommodate his friend and he was specifically saying the cost was too high. He needed this time for recouping and if he isn't able to have this time, it might cause problems for him later. It is a legitimate self concern and one I think some extremely generous people often neglect to consider until they find they have spent all their ability and they wind up in their own problems.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with weighing the costs for being generous and then making the decision of weather or not you are willing to. You should never feel obligated to help someone because you call them a friend.
An interesting point and I think a valid discussion. There are a few factors that need to be considered. My point was that being generous or giving is not always just what is convenient. If you only give that which you can afford to give, then I don't think you are giving much. Now, if you have a lot, like the Gates Foundation, or Ted Turner or others and give a great deal, then I would say that is wonderful. And they actually spend a lot of their own time and money making sure their gifts are efficient and given in a way that benefits the most. But in a personal sense, you give when it's needed, not just when it's convenient. My daughter often asks me to babysit my grandchildren. She has two boys, which are a handful. I try to be available whenever I can, not just when it is convenient to me. Sometimes it is very rewarding to be with those boys, other times very frustrating. You have to appreciate the pleasure and accept the pain without complaint. I also see it as a cost issue, as you mention. It may cost me some time and effort, I would rather take a nap, but some time away from 'the boys' for my daughter is worth a great deal more to her. It's something I can give to her that means a lot more to her than it costs me.
Now, another concern is the 'enabling' issue. This is another matter. If the recipient of the giving takes advantage of the situation, or uses the benefit for poor reasons, then it may be better to not give. One certainly has to be careful to not enable others bad behavior, thinking you are helping.
I see your point. Helping vs. being taken advantage of are two different things that sometimes look the same. But, I think the person that errors on the side of helping makes the better mistake.
I made my comment in response to my perceived opinion that the giver liked the idea of giving, but when it got more 'expensive' turned away. I think that the term 'give until it hurts' has some merit. Otherwise it's just superficial.
Sure there is a cost to generosity. But look at it as an investment in karma.
If there is not much investment, don't expect much of a return.