how to give back

Give Something Back, Feel Something Greater

As many people find themselves with surprisingly constrained budgets, giving to others becomes a more challenging task. A tough middle class economy is a true test of character for those who count themselves among this middle class.

Do you continue to give something back at the same pace as before or continue to enjoy other uses of your money and give a little less when you have a little less?

When you think about just how much worse things are for those who have fallen from middle class into poverty, you’ll probably want to increase your giving during these tough times.

If you have anything that you can spend on pleasures, such as entertainment, foods cultivated and prepared by others, and hobbies, you have been blessed with more than many others.

The situation:

- One quarter of the world population faces starvation.

- One out of seven of the people in the world is illiterate.

- Twenty-five children die each minute of preventable causes.

- One out of five of the people of the world lacks clean drinking water.

These statistics may seem to reflect something far away, but this isn’t always the case. In the US, for example, homeless rates have been on a steady rise.

Many more people are able to afford shelter, but not regular meals or medical care. Many children have no one to take care of them when they are home from school.

The realized personal benefits of giving:

- Vitality

- Joy

- Vigor

- Bonding

- Restfulness

- Appreciation

Beyond having the sense of each of the above, those who give suffer from less fear of their own. When you focus on saving yourself, you become paranoid. When you focus on helping others, you become action oriented. So when there are more dire warnings in the news, your thoughts are on helping instead of impending doom.

The worse the news gets, the more people have a tendency to become self-absorbed, unless they make determined efforts to give something back. Do you know your neighbors? Do you know the downtrodden of your community? Giving involves others in your life.

Realizing Your Potential

In the later years of life, those who report feeling the most satisfaction in life are those who feel they’ve made the most positive impacts on the widest ranges of individuals. You will not feel like you’ve reached your potential in life unless you have left behind a trail of people who lived better lives because of you.

The reality is that all of the things we do to make ourselves look fashionable or fun may impress others for a short time, but they do nothing to help others. You’ll never feel complete simply because you’re popular or you have all of the trendy things you’ve always wanted.

Why We Must Give Something Back

All of this is leading to the point that we mysteriously have a need for giving built into us. We are all naturally selfish, as observed in us as babies, yet feel less fulfilled the more we fulfill selfish desires. That is why you often feel a sense of doubt or reluctance when you focus too much on selfish wants. Those who learn to joyfully give are seldom the ones you’ll hear complaining about what they have.

On the other side are those people who never learn how to give. The more they receive, the more they have to complain about not receiving. It’s never enough for them, yet they want it all. They develop a scarce resource worldview. They horde in misery, always believing themselves in poverty.

If you want to know joy, you must regularly give something back of what you receive. Even if you only have a little time and money to give, you’ll quickly notice an increase in satisfaction with what you have as you give of it.

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Lea is a certified life coach and conscious living advocate. She enjoys helping others reach their potential and achieve true happiness. Start paving your path to happiness with a free copy of the Redesign Your Life eBook at LeadingEdgeAdvocate.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

  • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

    “You will not feel like you’ve reached your potential in life unless you have left behind a trail of people who lived better lives because of you.”

    This is one of the truest statements I’ve ever read.

    Yes, we are all inherently selfish. But also, we all inherently want to help others. It’s just part of the duality of human nature.

    It’s when we stray too far to one side that life becomes unbalanced. If we receive more than we give, we become greedy and posessive. If we give more than we receive, we become drained and spread thin. We must find balance.

    And there are so many ways to give. It’s not all about donating money or volunteering down at the shelter. A simple act of kindness can be one of our greatest gifts. Even just a smile — when given at the right time to the right person – can mean the world to them.

    Cheers!

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      Trevor, I’m glad you appreciated the message. I completely agree with you, we need to find a happy medium.

  • http://selfstairway.com/ Vincent Nguyen

    I’m afraid people like my family will never truly understand this sort of mindset. They are “giving” but incredibly selective by only giving to people that are like them, e.g., Buddhist, Asian, etc. 

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      For some it can be a difficult concept. As you probably know, true giving is unbias.

  • http://goalsetting-workshop.com/blog/ Jorge Blanco

    Very true indeed. Giving can be quite a challenge especially for people who think they’re the ones who should receive despite being able to afford a few luxuries. I think another reason why people are hesitant about giving is because they don’t want these people to become dependent on receiving. Some people do become like that, but I guess you have to find the right people to give to, the more deserving ones. Those who receive, are thankful for it, and work hard to live on their own.

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      Good points,  I’m sure people do have these reservations. But there are numerous ways to give. Assistance can be provided in other ways, to help people become more independent.

  • http://lonerwolf.com/ Luna

    Thanks for this.  This article made me think about whether I am a giver, or a taker (now I think perhaps half and half).  And how the majority of people who feel life satisfaction give back to their societies in some way.  You mentioned that we are all selfish, and in a sense, being generous and giving is selfish in a way as well (I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out), as we always gain something from giving, whether an emotional reward, or some kind of bonding.  
    Ta ;)

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      Luna, I understand you completely and you are right! Giving is beneficial to both parties. All the more reason to give, its a win-win :-)

  • http://www.lifeskillstoolkits.com/ Jehangir Mehentee

    A lovely article, Lea. 

    As Ghandi said: Find yourself by losing yourself in the service of others.

    This ‘finding yourself’ is so important if we’re to cope with so much of the change that’s going on in our world. And strangely enough, the more we find out about ourselves, the more we are able to give in terms or our time, attention and love to others – at least that’s what I’ve found!

    One way of getting others to develop and share this point of view is to ask them for help in the form of providing a little of their time. It doesn’t always work, since some people aren’t ready to give. But for those that do and who then receive your gratitude, it might just be that nudge that they need.

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      Thanks Jehangir. Great quote and insight.

  • http://juliakristina.com/blog Julia Kristina

    Thanks for this reminder Lea. I’ve been ‘intending’ to give more of what I have been blessed with and have yet to actually sit down and do it. The only way to find time to do these kinds of things is to make time to do them.

    Julia

     

    • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

      Glad this helped you Julia. When you truly want to do something you’ll focus and find a way. I’m sure you’ll fit it in some where.

  • http://www.financial-lessons.net/corporate-social-responsibility-the-personal-touch-of-giving-back/ Morgan @ Financial Lessons

    Giving back is very important. I am a volunteer service coordinator for a non-profit company and the things I have seen and the people I have met have changed my entire outlook on life. Giving back is a great way to contribute to your community and is something that everyone should learn to do.