E-News - Giving Back, Paying Forward or Just Plain Helping Others?
Giving Back, Paying Forward or Just Plain Helping Others?A boy was headed to Sunday school, and his dad gave him two quarters. The father told the boy, “Put one quarter in the offering, and you can keep the other one to buy an ice cream cone.” (An ice cream for just 25 cents? Just how old is this story anyway?)
As the boy walked down the street, heading to church, he accidentally dropped one of the quarters, and it rolled into a storm drain, never to be seen again. He stared helplessly down the drain for a moment, and then slowly looked toward the sky, sighed, and said, “Sorry, God. There goes your quarter.”
The very idea of giving ignites a war and great conflict within us. Whose money is it? The way I see it, God owns it all, and I’m just a steward of His property. As such, I give a portion to my church and other organizations that I believe are doing good work that I want to support.
Three Reasons to Give
- Giving improves your sense of well being. The act of helping others can create an improved sense of wellbeing. Sacrificing your time, finances, or property to help those in need fosters a sense of purpose in your life and work, as well as a great deal of inner satisfaction.
- Giving benefits society. According to Philanthropy Matters, a publication by the Center of Philanthropy, “Nearly 20 percent of donors nationwide said that the most important reason they donated was to help people meet basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and heat,” and 17 percent said “making the world a better place” was a great motivator for them. Americans gave almost $300 billion to domestic charities in 2010, according to the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. When individuals give, all of society benefits.
- Giving benefits you. Of course the receiver benefits from good deeds, but helping others also drums up good feelings in the giver. Using your special gifts to help others can be a gift to yourself, and you will enjoy a self-esteem boost when you strive to make others’ lives better and to make the world a better place. A balanced lifestyle that includes service to others will also help you feel less stress.
Like many good things in life, giving is cyclical. While we should not give with the intention of getting something back, givers are often blessed in unexpected ways, sometimes even years later. For a wonderful example of how giving comes back to us later in life, visit:
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