“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
So many people through the years talk about giving & helping others. So why do we do it? Simply put, often we do it to matter.
Helping others satisfies a need. It might be a need for meaning, a need to belong, a spiritual need, a need to feel better about ourselves, a need to make someone else feel better, a need to gain insight and understanding into others’ lives or cultures, or even a need to understand ourselves, challenge ourselves, further our careers or build up our community. The reality- some of us need to give for that blessed tax break too!!
An article in the Huffington Post talked about how Warren Buffett donated $1.9 BILLION to four different charities. That is simply amazing. But really, most of us don’t have that type of money just laying around. So what do we do? Make it work for you, on your terms and with your means~ whether it be with money, time, talents. Just matter.
It may be that smile you give when someone looks down, or a hand when things are overwhelming. You may consider paying it forward at Starbucks (goodness knows we all need a free Starbucks!!), passing on some wisdom to the younger ones. Being generous does not have to cost money. See, giving back is about the person you are helping, but it is also about helping ourselves feel better emotionally and physically. The old adage, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”, yup. Preach it. Studies indicate those who give freely and often have lower levels of stress and better overall health. Who knew??
So as the New Year begins, I encourage all of us to think about how we want to matter and leave a mark. Whether it be a charity, a person, an animal… a friend. Think about it. How can you matter, show kindness and make a positive difference in this world?
I decided to be specific & intentional in how I will personally give each month as I navigate through life. Therefore, I begin 2015 with my brother. He is courageously fighting cancer. He has not and will NOT ask for help. I give emotional support, but I thought to myself, “Self~ how awesome would it be if I could be that catalyst to ease the financial burden of the medical expenses?” The answer is easy- "Awesome! I would love it!"
I have no doubt he will be resistant at first; however, he will come to understand, that he isn’t a “charity case” nor is he a “pity project”. This isn’t JUST about him. This is a way for me to allow him focus on the fight, reduce the financial strain, and to be honest, feel good that I can matter.I can also provide an avenue for others who know him and want to matter too. Caring and giving can totally snowball- I hope so.