The Importance Of Giving

BY Andre Wayne Posted March 16, 2021

The Importance Of Giving 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Gandhi


Charity is important to one’s overall wellbeing, allowing us to open our minds and hearts to humanity towards a greater purpose of making the world better. Doing good for others without expectation is an act of selfless service which blends into the concept of  “Karma” which says that the good deeds of helping others contribute to a worthy, meaningful and happy life. Although we easily get distracted by our own deadlines, societal pressures and social media reputation, thinking and actually doing good for others can help us to anchor ourselves to a bigger purpose and deeper meaning in life. 


We are all connected as humans and alleviating the pain of others is an opportunity to create a lasting positive impact. As life evolves, it is incumbent on us to make this world better for our children and future generations. A recent study in Psychosomatic Medicine, published by Tristen Inagaki, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh and Naomi Eisenberger, Ph.D., of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Feb 2016, has shown that giving can stimulate portions of the brain on functional MRI which reduces stress and activates other portions which function as a reward system of the brain. Donating to charity therefore can be a major mood-booster. 


The knowledge that you’re helping others is hugely empowering and, in turn, can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. The research that identified a link between making a donation to charity and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure has proven that, as the old adage goes, it really is far better to give than to receive. Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege, and one that comes with its own sense of obligation. Acting on these powerful feelings of responsibility is a great way to reinforce our own personal values and feel like we are living in a way that is true to our own ethical beliefs. 


Sharing the experience of donating to charity with your children shows them, from a young age, that they can make positive changes in the world. Children naturally love to help others, so nurturing their innate generosity is likely to mean that they will grow up with a greater appreciation of what they have. This in turn will undoubtedly engender a desire to continue pursuing and supporting charitable activities in years to come. Your own charitable donations can inspire your nearest and dearest to give to causes important to them, and could even bring about a family-wide effort to back a charity or charities that have special significance to you as a group. Family giving creates a bond, helping to bolster relationships through a shared goal and raising more money / donations than could otherwise be possible through individual efforts. In fact, many of your family members may already be giving to charity, so working together could help you to make even more of a positive impact. 


The passion of humanity, the resilience of people who fight diseases with courage and all the goodness residing in our universe serve as a great inspiration for us to develop a culture of giving back. Despite the negatives, there are still many positive occurrences in our daily lives in abundance and they too should inspire us to pursue acts of charity. If you truly want to live in a better world then, you can start by making charitable changes in your own daily life that can positively impact your community. Here are a few things to consider if you want to make this change: 


1. Find a cause which you are passionate about: be it human rights, rights of the child, education, health & wellness or animal welfare.


2. Volunteer: find a nonprofit which is working in the area which you are passionate about and start giving your time, based on your availability.  


3. Begin At Home: starting a tradition of donating to charity with your children is easy - try creating a family donation box that everyone can add to and nominate a family charity each year, involving the children in choosing which causes to support.


4. Donate: more than the amount, whether it be money or groceries or books or even clothing, it is the intention to contribute and to be a part of a larger objective that really counts. 


5. Raise Awareness:  by promoting the charitable cause(s) you support on social media, you are creating awareness that can lead to even greater support. Raising awareness about these causes, of which you are passionate, can start movements which can make a difference in the lives of others.


6. Be An Example: follow your dreams and make choices which help others. In small or big ways, whatever you do is important and you matter. There is no one like you and you have something that can help to make the lives of others better. Your small acts of kindness can make a world of difference in someone’s life. 


Whatever your passions are for the causes you believe in, you can make a difference. The world of selfless giving is full of happiness and meaningful moments to cherish for a lifetime. As Mother Teresa once said “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”