Wherever you are in your life right now, you’ve gotten here by the grace of someone else. At some point, someone took a chance and helped you out of the sheer kindness of their heart. Holidays like The International Day of Service encourage others to give back to the communities who’ve either helped them or who aren’t fortunate enough to have help. But volunteering and other forms of philanthropy shouldn’t be limited to just a few days out the year. It should be a regular occurrence, because it helps to make the world a better, more gracious place.
When we take the time to volunteer or donate to people in your own community, we are improving our own lifestyle. Teaching illiterate adults how to read gives them the ability to apply for jobs that will directly benefit our hometown. Making sure kids have food to eat in our community allows for them to do better in school, decreasing the dropout and crime rates. Cleaning up our local park makes the community foster a sense of pride about where they live, and boosts overall community morale. When we show that we care about where we live and the people in who we live with, we are inherently championing others to do the same. One of the best parts about giving back is that when we do it routinely enough, others start to give back with us.
Volunteering can also makes us more introspective about what we have. When doing it, we are often exposed to people who may not have the things we are privileged to have. The people we are helping might not have adequate clothes, a stable living situation, access to healthcare, or a steady food source. Volunteering is a very humbling experience and can help us assess the advantages and liberties we have been afforded. It’s easy for us to lament about what the next person has that we don’t – but when you volunteer, we come to find that we have everything we need to have access to our next goal. Not a lot of people can say that, and it’s good to be appreciative.
We can even feel physically and mentally better from volunteering. Helping others leads to lower depression rates, higher self-esteem, higher brain functioning, and develops emotional stability. It’s okay to admit that we volunteer for reasons that are a bit self-serving – because why shouldn’t we do something that is also going to bring us a personal sense of happiness and fulfillment? It’s great to get out there and try and make the world a better place, but it’s just as great that volunteering helps us become a better person. Audrey Hepburn said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” When we give back, we’re using both.
But most importantly, giving back is so essential because we have to give back to go forward. Sharing lessons, giving emotional labor, or other forms of contribution to the next generation helps us learn how to become a leader. Empowering others with the resources they need to create their own destiny helps us empower ourselves. It’s important that we remember the people and places that have helped us get to where we are. Start a cycle of helping – we help them, to help others, and so on and so on. Until e learn how to empower others, we will be stuck in the same place we are currently at. Because no one wants to be entangled with someone who doesn’t understand the importance of being selfless.
We volunteer because it lets us know how much power have and our ability to make a difference. You get to see real changes as a result of your efforts, and that is one of the most liberating feelings one can experience. Whether we’re donating our time or donating our money, finding a way to give back that fits with your lifestyle is a key piece in finding self-fulfillment.
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One more thing! Remember… go out there and be Fearless! No matter what you set your mind to, YOU CAN DO IT! Did you download this free e-book yet? I know that you’ll love it.
Rayven – Team #SheBecameFearless