We are told from a young age that we should give back to others. This could be through charity, volunteer work, or other means. This idea may be intertwined with religion and societal values. It makes sense, too. Giving back makes the world a better place.
We also do not need all of the resources in order to sustain life –that we are lucky to have. Therefore, by giving back in some way, we have an opportunity to greatly help others with little effort from ourselves.
One of the best parts about giving back is that it will actually make you more fulfilled as well. Not only are you making other lives better, but giving back will improve your own life.
Here are seven reasons why:
Giving is inherent to human nature.
Generosity is a survival instinct that humans have developed through evolution. While it is true that our primary evolutionary goal was to pass along our genes, a big way in which we did that was through family members. Subsequently, we became evolutionarily wired to help our family.
This is not to mention the points throughout evolution that required giving to non-family. There were times when we would help others, knowing that they would go on to return the favor later. Therefore, expressing actions of giving is a natural thing to do that increases fulfillment.
Money or time could not have been spent doing anything more helpful.
There is almost always going to be somebody that is worse off than you are. That means that any time or money you put towards helping creates a net positive impact. The $20 or two hours of time means much less to you than to them. Knowing that you are creating this net positive impact is a warm feeling.
You get to see the tangible impact of your help.
After giving back to others, you often have the chance to see the impact that you created. Looking at the way in which you personally impacted other lives is an incredible feeling.
Think about the times that you have helped your friends or family. It is fulfilling to know that we were the ones that improved somebody else’s situation.
You get the confidence to continue making an impact on others.
It is also empowering to see the impact you are helping create. In a competitive world, it is easy to feel like we cannot offer much. Giving back to others is a great way to feel the stark opposite feeling. You can offer much. It shows you the influence that you can personally have on making the world a better place.
You can take that energy and positive feeling with you throughout your life. We are capable of a lot more than we might realize. Giving back is a great way to remember that and gain confidence that we can truly help others. Ultimately, with this confidence comes even more effort helping those around us.
You can create a sense of community.
Giving back is a great way to feel a sense of community. This could come in the form of a community that you helped create, or it could be a community that you have become a part of. You can form a community with the people who you participate in a project with. Plus, you might feel connected to those that you are helping. A sense of community and belonging is something that naturally makes us happier.
There are communities around the world that would love help and support. Being able to provide it to them will offer you a special place within that community, and it will lead to a greater sense of fulfillment.
It will give you gratitude for what you have.
Helping others is a refreshing reminder to be grateful for what we have. There is a correlation between gratitude and happiness. Therefore, when giving back, it is easier to see and realize the things that we are lucky for in our lives. Despite the difficulties we might face on a daily basis, we should be grateful. Remembering this gratitude is an effective way to feel more fulfilled.
You will be exposed to new situations and people.
Through charitable action, we are exposed to new situations and people. In addition to all of the positive outcomes mentioned above, meeting new people is often a great learning experience. Doing so widens our empathy towards the world and improves our ability to lead. Plus, it helps us better understand the lives that different groups of people are living.
This is not to mention that through the act of giving, you could find yourself in new situations. These could come in the form of spending a day with people you would never have otherwise or participating in a local activity that is new to you.
Having a wider breadth of experiences throughout life adds to the richness that we feel and our bank of positive memories. Consequently, giving back to others can help create these experiences that are well worth having.