Remember back all those years when as a child, you couldn’t wait for Christmas. What marvellous presents am I going to get this time? It was all about you, but as you get older, you realise that it’s the giving that makes you feel good. That giving makes you feel better than receiving.
Scientific fact that donating makes you feel good
Donating is pretty much the same and the reason behind it is has some scientific evidence. The reason we feel good about it, is because it activates the pleasure centres in the brain. Donating is a real “mood booster” much like the feeling that many feel when they exercise.
Helping Others in Need
We have heard the saying, that at times “Life isn’t fair”. How true, as most of us were born into favourable circumstances. Not growing up in third world countries or born into poverty, where any chance of having a comfortable lifestyle is close to zero. Therefore, I believe it should be an obligation to help those in need, through no fault of their own. Donating in this instance is not just linked to helping people. Animals suffer all forms of cruelty and because they are so helpless and without a voice, the question of donating or not is a “no brainer”. Only the really insensitive would not feel a need to help here. Add to the fact that current laws are still quite weak and don’t discourage animal cruelty.
Promoting Generosity in Children
The Give Me generation of today, seem focused on accumulating as many material possessions as they can. Peer pressure and competition, means that they want what others have. Emphasise the fact that donating gives you a positive vibe, simply because you can make a difference to other people’s lives.
Also, if your child shows generosity, it creates a sense of empowerment and freedom to those around them. The ability to “buck” todays’ societal belief that we should look after number 1, is a great way to improve as a person and reach your full potential.
Every Little Bit Helps
One of the biggest “downers” many people feel when looking to donate to charitable causes, is the thought “can my little contribution help? The answer is a definite yes; you can really make a difference! The few bucks that you spend each day on a coffee, can make a massive change to people’s lives who have nothing. At this time of year, the festive season brings great joy to most of us but for those who have nothing, it can be the most miserable time of all.
If ever person donated the price of a cup of coffee, consider what the collective amount would be? To take a song title from one of my favourite artists, Paul Kelly. “from little things big things grow”. Also consider this quote from the Talk About Giving Team, “It’s not the size of the contribution that matters; what matters is the outcome your giving produces”. This is a very poignant and important statement that should ensure that those with any doubts, do reach into their pockets.
Donating Strengthens Personal Conscience
Is there a moral duty or obligation to donate? Many people believe so; that such an obligation is ingrained in their personalities and reinforces the moral values that their parents taught them. These also can include the importance of family, honesty and compromising with others. It is no surprise that showing kindness and empathy is seen by many as the most important personal value to have, which of course is central to wanting to donate.
Sadly Donating is a Tax Deduction
Let me say at the outset, that if the reason to donate gives you a return come tax time, then nothing I have said has any impetus with the lives you lead. Sure, the act of donating is a tax write off but clearly if your heart isn’t into it, then there may be better options. However, a chance ignored is a chance missed to help those who really need a leg up! To be fair, I have a good friend, Greg Harris who is a very successful businessman and at Christmas, he gives presents to 100 needy families in his vicinity and puts on a Christmas lunch for those who would normally miss out.
The thought of doing what he does as a way of a tax write off, is never the issue. He epitomises all of what this article is about. He understands that he is in a financial position where he can make a difference to people’s lives if only for a fleeting moment.
Remember, that the good people who work hard in charity organisations, are reliant on us to give donations, so they have the funds to carry on their great work.
Here in Australia, the highlight of my Christmas day, is to see the volunteers who donate their time and effort to put on a terrific Christmas lunch for the needy and homeless. The location for this is Kings Cross in Sydney and to see the look of gratitude on their faces and at least for one day, feel they are loved, is overwhelming.
When lunch is over, the music starts and to observe them dancing with each other and the volunteers is priceless. They can’t wipe the smiles off their faces and this surely is the embodiment of the goodness of donating.