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.
– 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:
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.
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.