Updated: Jun 29, 2021
As you grow older you will realize that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for serving the less fortunate. I was always taught about the importance of giving back and helping the poor. I find it incredibly rewarding. True enough no one has become poor by giving.
I sincerely believe giving back is one of the greatest life lessons we can teach our children. We must educate our kids that this material world isn’t about them and that through our actions people will really discover what kind of a person we truly are. A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world. If you asked me, charity begins at home, but shouldn’t end there.
Happiness doesn’t result from what we get but from what we give. True happiness is the ability to giving it all away. There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. It seems that a kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal. In this regard, we are what we repeatedly do. Giving back is not an act but a habit.
When you become aware of the fact that you are more privileged than others, make sure to help the ones who do not have access to the same things you have access to on a regular basis. If you are successful you must feel the pain of others and you must try to help others to reach success as well.
Importance of giving back to the less fortunate
When we perform the act of giving back, it stimulates the pleasure center in the brain which in return makes us happy and has good health benefits. The brain releases some happy hormones when we help others, creating the feelings known as “helpers high.”(Suttie & Marsh, 2010). However, we should not only give back because we want to make ourselves internally happy, it should come from a good place and a kind heart. It should occur because of your character and the good hearted person you are. We should give back because we care and want to see others happy too.
Giving back teaches yourself to be a better and kinder person. Once you start with giving back or donating something or even performing a kind gesture for another person, you will savour the pleasure of doing it. By repeating this behavior you will be blessed in abundance. People who always give, always have.
You are setting an example for other people, especially your children building and strengthening a community and bringing your family and friends closer. A good role model to your kids to look up to you.
Giving to the less fortunate makes them feel loved and cared for. Many homeless children and others who live under unfortunate circumstances experience things no human should ever experience. When we show them love by sharing our good hearts with them, it makes them happy and in return makes us happy too. You make them feel seen and make them feel important. It also promotes social interaction and connectedness.
Which brings me to the fact that we cannot live in isolation, we need to be connected and show others that we care. Creating more social connections are healthy for us and causes us to feel a sense of belonging. We must seek and see the need of the community we live in and acted upon it by being the person who made the change having good qualities such as empathy will make you feel good with your inner self.
Be generous without expecting anything back in return. When you're sincere in giving and spending money on others, even strangers, you will harness the feeling of happiness within your soul.
In today's life, the good in people are disappearing because they are self absorbed and self obsessed. It makes them hard and selfish individuals. They walk around with the mindset of "each to their own." This is the mindset that brings disruption. But by giving back, we can have a good influence on others and set good examples. Giving is contagious and can cause a ripple effect on the communities you extend your hand to.
Be part of the minority and choose to be a caring person.
Ways you can give back
There are various ways in which we can give back. Many think that if they are struggling with finances they are not able to help others. Giving back does not only include giving money, it could be you giving your time, attention and energy as well. Being generous has nothing to do with money. Start by looking at your own community or the community you grew up in and spent most of your childhood years. Look at things they lack and try to fill those spaces.
Here's some ways you can give back:
Volunteer in your community.
Start a soup kitchen.
Open a shelter for homeless people.
Sponsor a school with their sports equipment or lunch.
Start a soccer club.
Open a recreation centre.
Organize an event for the elder people.
Spend a day cleaning the community.
Donate money to a children's home.
If you have long hair you can donate it to cancer centers who make wigs.
Become part of a NGO.
Buy stationary/uniform and donate it on the first day of school.
Giving kindness, if you asked me is also a form of giving back. This is a little harder to measure or give advice on. But I think it is very simple to be kind to people. Sometimes offering a kind word or a smile can make all the difference to a person. Actually we have many opportunities to give kindness when answering inquiries on the support desk or simply while coaching campaign creators to have a successful campaign. Kindness is free and abundant and generally has a 100% positive impact on the one giving and the one receiving.
Remember when doing a good deed, you don't have to post it on social media for applause. Do it because you genuinely care and want to give back, not because you want to impress your friends and other important people to show them what you have done for others. There are a plethora of tiktok, facebook and instagram videos on people doing good things for others. We can look at this from two sides. Posting about it could either be for approval of others or to cause a ripple effect of giving and making others happy in the world.
Try to start being more generous towards the ones closest to you and then extend that generosity to others such as strangers who are less fortunate and need help. You will not only experience seeing their happy faces but you will also discover the joy in being a good person for others. Have you ever bought someone a gift that you know they will truly love and watch them unwrap it? It is a state of internal euphoria that cannot be compared to anything else. With small gestures we are able to make a difference in someone's life. Sometimes even the career path we chose is our way of helping and giving back for example, psychologists. they may have their own practices and get paid for it but then there are some who are generous and do pro bono work in local communities.
I have my fair share of business disappointments and personal challenges in my life. I sense that the act of giving back has somehow helped me mentally. I suspect my stress levels tend to drop whenever I engage in such an act. When you feel stressed out it will impact your health negatively if you do something that makes you feel good like helping others. It can improve your health by having a lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less incidence of depression and greater happiness. But that's me.
A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health analyzed the MRIs of people who gave to charity reported that giving activates the parts of the brain related to pleasure, trust, and relationships with others. Where important feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin would be produced by that person.
This same study by the National Institute of Health also found that having a purpose in life had measurable cognitive benefits for participants from their 30s all the way into their 80s. The same is true for teens. Those with a greater sense of purpose had a more positive self-image and better transitioned into adulthood.
Giving back can also initiate a circle of liberal and compassionate people. Whether it’s curing cancer or helping alleviate world hunger, getting behind a meaningful cause can lessen certain mental health risks while also reducing loneliness and isolation.
Giving Back Builds Gratitude
Every time we give our own money or time, the giver, not just the recipient can feel a renewed sense of gratitude. Seeing others benefit from our actions instills a sense of appreciativeness for the contributions we have to offer, which I suspect would linked to our deep feeling of happiness, health, and social bonds
“Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably…this fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community,” research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote in her book, The How of Happiness.
Lastly, set boundaries and stick to it when giving back in order to avoid being taken advantage of by the ones you are helping. Believe it or not, there are people who take advantage of the good people and sometimes they purposely sabotage the good happening to them because they are so used to being treated badly that they do not know how to handle good happening to them. Also, watch out for the organizations who claim to be charities. Sometimes the money we donate never reaches the people who need it but instead goes in the pocket of the organisation.