There are so many articles, books and businesses helping people make more money. And then there are tons of businesses and advertising companies helping people spend their money. There are also many companies out there helping people save money, partially this blog as well. However, I have found that there aren’t nearly as many resources helping people understand why it’ also important to GIVE some of your money away. Religious organizations of course make it very easy to make people do it, they simply say: “God told us that we must tide, it is his written in his word” However, when I was going to church, I found very little explanation given about why we should do that and more importantly where does that money go. On top of that, I have met many religious leaders who live and spend so excessively that it makes one wonder: How did they pay for all this? Since this isn’t a post about religion and everything that I think is wrong with it, I want to share my views on why as a spiritual not necessarily religious woman, I find that I receive so much in return when I give away money, things, my skills or simply my time.
- The very first thing that motivates me to give away money, time, clothing, and other items is realizing how much better I have it than some people in US and then most of the people in the rest of the world. First, I have my health. Volunteering at Children’s hospital and seeing so many sick children makes me appreciate it even more. Second, 56% of Americans live on more than $50 per day, which is way more than 7% of the rest of the World according to a PEW study. If any of you have ever visited a developing country you would have noticed how much better off we are here in US. It is truly the best country in the World due to the high standard of living alone. But it’s also something that makes me more grateful and eager to help those who are less fortunate.
- I’ve learned that giving doesn’t always have to mean giving away money. In fact, sometimes giving money to a person directly is actually not in their best interest. For example: if you give money to a homeless person, there is a high likelihood that they might spend it on alcohol or drugs. Or if you give to a “charitable” organization that you don’t really know much about, there’s really no way of telling what happens to the money. I found that when giving money directly it really helps (as with most things money-related) to do some research.
- By giving away money, my time, clothes, or other things I feel a great sense of fulfillment knowing that this time, clothing, personal items, talent or whatever else has helped make someone else’s life better somehow. No purchase has ever made feel the same way and no purchase can ever do that.
- I also found that giving locally and to a cause that we care about brings much more satisfaction, rather than just giving for the sake of it. I really care about women’s health, equality, safety and well-being, so I take most of my clothing and used items to The Genesis Women’s Shelter. They provide shelter, counseling, and experts services to battered women and children. I am also a finance nerd, so I teach Financial Empowerment courses to women mostly from low-income households at WINGS center of Dallas.
I do realize that sometimes it’s not easy to give, especially when we’re struggling with money, have debt to pay off, don’t have a job, have a sickness in the family or a load of other reasons. I do still think that it’s important to find a way to give that makes sense for you. If it’s not money, give your time. If time is an issue, give away some stuff you’re not using. I do believe that when we give, others give to us in ways we can’t imagine, it definitely has worked like that for me. I want to share some great quotes I like on giving to close this post:
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”Brian Tracy
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens
“We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
I would love to hear some of your ideas and comments on how you find ways to give back and help others.