Today is Giving Tuesday and I wanted to share some thoughts on the personal benefits of giving of your time, talent, and treasure.
Your household budget may be strained and giving is sometimes difficult for you. Everyone is working with reduced resources and most of us feel as though we don’t have enough to enjoy our own lives, let alone to give. The idea of giving may seem unreasonable or impossible. But maybe now, more than ever, is the best time to give. There is a power in giving and you don’t always have to give money.
Most of us have already been blessed with so much. Our parents, teachers, relatives, friends, and others have given us a lot. But many others are not so fortunate.
Jesus says, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
- 25% of the world’s population is starving.
- 15% of the world’s population cannot read or write.
- 25 children die every minute from a preventable disease.
- 5 billion people don’t have access to clean water.
It’s not necessary to look far from home to find real need. A lot of neighborhoods nearby have many homeless people. Also, there are many people not receiving proper nutrition and health care. There are children that aren’t getting the attention they need to flourish. Believe it or not many families, especially those headed by solo moms, cannot feed their children properly. Why not pick up some extra groceries for someone you know might need it.
But maybe her grass needs cutting or her snow needs shoveling. Or, maybe she just needs someone to give her a break by babysitting her child for a couple of hours. Giving doesn’t always mean parting with hard earned dollars. It could be that all she needs is a listening ear.
But if you are hesitating to give, consider some of the personal benefits of giving:
1. A Sense of Pride
Giving to others gives us a sense of purpose and pride. Admit it. When you give freely to someone else, you feel good about yourself. You should especially feel good about yourself if you give beyond your comfort zone.
According to Money Crashers in Top 10 Benefits of Charitable Giving and Donations, one benefit of giving is that it activates the reward center in our brain. The reward center of the brain uses dopamine to communicate. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and can motivate us to achieve reward. So in this case, one of the benefits of giving, is the activation of personal satisfaction in gaining a reward. There is pleasure in giving.
When you give of your time and talent in ways such as volunteering, the interaction you get can provide a sense of wellbeing. These interactions can help reduce stress. Also, consider that high doses of dopamine helps to lower blood pressure. Giving makes you happy, lowers your stress level, and keeps you healthy.
4. Love & Peace
The last time you gave, did you feel the warm fuzzies? You show love by giving. Which can in turn give you a sense of peace. Knowing you help someone in need can help alleviate some of the anxiety we feel over the difficult situation some families face. This benefit of giving can also extend the “warm fuzzies” to the receiver as well. Our kindness can encourage someone to give also or at the very least, give them a sense of peace because their need was met by your generosity.
5. Opportunity to make new relationships
The bonds you form with those you give to can create lasting relationships that can lead to so many things. Whether you give money or time, there are numerous opportunities to connect with new people and form friendships that can make the benefits of giving, last a lifetime.
The benefits of giving through a platform such as Kiva.org, provides the opportunity to lend money to recipients so they can create businesses and improve their station in life. The lender gets repaid so she can lend over and over again. I explain how this form of giving works in a recent blogpost, Holiday Gift Giving That Helps Solo Moms Worldwide.
One of the more profound benefits to the giver is the reduction in fear. With everything going on in the world, many people live in fear of economic collapse, natural disasters, crime, paying their bills, caring for their children and their parents, and numerous other things. This is a function of real events but can also be the overly sensationalistic coverage by the media.
What’s insidious is the effect it has on many people. People become more isolated and less connected with society and their community. Many don’t even know their neighbors. One of the benefits of giving your time and talent, you open yourself up to others and your community.
Giving Helps You Reach Your Full Potential.
Giving is a result of personal growth but it also helps us to grow. Think about that.
“To find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others.” ~~Mahatma Gandhi