“Bounty always receives part of its value in the manner in which it is bestowed” – Samuel Johnson
We have always thought about the many things we do not have, such as a big house, a nice luxurious car, the latest trendy outfits, and many other material possessions. It is natural to want things we do not have, and there is no problem in spending when you feel like it every once in a while; but those things will never suffice, no matter how much we buy.
So why do we dwell so much on the things we do not have?
That is because humans are inherently selfish. We have this idea ingrained in us that it is okay to be extravagant even when others are deprived. Some may even step on others to get ahead in life and only to benefit themselves.
We need to step out of our tiny world for a moment and face the real world where ordinary people aren’t as privileged as us to afford basic human necessities such as food, shelter, safety, and security, to name a few. Instead of looking at people who have more than us, we should divert our attention at those who have less.
One of the many ways to help the less fortunate is by being charitable.
Charity is a selfless act done out of nothing but good intent for society as a whole. It is not like a business transaction where one would expect something in return. Charity is not limited to giving away your money to those in need. It can be anything such as, helping someone carry their bags, providing helpful advice to one seeking it, or volunteering in general.
Why be charitable?
Being charitable brings many merits. It is a way to give back to society for all the blessings life has bestowed upon you. Besides, it costs nothing to be a good person; and is there anything wrong with working towards a society where we have love, peace, and happiness?
The Socio-Economic Benefits of Charity
The inevitable situation for those who suffer from absolute poverty is that they begin to seek out other means, by hook or crook, as they do not possess even the basic funds to look after themselves and their families. Thus, those who undergo poverty may resort to stealing and similar crimes. Not surprisingly then, crime rates begin to rise as a result of the declining economic situation of the underprivileged sector of the society.
Charity brings many social benefits to the economy at large. The poor do not feel exploited or left out for a start as the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ begins to shrink.
We may not be aware but charitable people and charitable acts still abound and, here in UK, we are more fortunate than others, as there is a high tendency for institutional charities providing relief locally and responding to global demands too.
UK Charities are uniquely positioned to respond to the UK’s social challenges, such as rising social and income inequality (Charity Commission & Frontier Economics 2019). In doing so, they instill the concept of equity over equality, which gives everybody the privilege to receive a sound education and perhaps a decent job, allowing them to have a better lifestyle, thus reducing the animosity often felt by the under-privileged.
Another way to help society is through volunteering. Volunteering is doing unpaid work to benefit the community’s needs. There are hundreds of different types of volunteer work available that will find your fancy. Volunteering surely benefits the society at large, but it also helps the individual who is doing the volunteering as well.
Research says that the economic value of volunteering is estimated at £23.9bn (Anon 2019).
Volunteering Promotes Internal Growth
When you are engaged in something as extraordinary as volunteering, being part of such an experience helps you realize how much of a positive influence you have in a society that results in self-actualization. It gives your life a moral purpose, which helps prevent that feeling of existential crisis when you can see the positive change you bring to the world. It also increases your self-confidence as you have passed over a new hurdle and are more aware of the world’s fundamental problems and how you can tackle them. Volunteering has also been shown to have reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, thus improving one’s mood.
Volunteering Helps You Meet New Faces
Another positive aspect of volunteering is that it allows new memorable encounters. Meeting different people of different backgrounds and capacities inevitably helps in expanding your horizons. Volunteering gives you the chance to connect with people directly.
A research conducted by the London School of Economics, in the relationship between volunteering and happiness, found that the extent to which people volunteered linked directly to how happy they were.
Volunteering fosters empathy, strengthens social ties, and makes you happy (Horoszowski 2015).
Volunteering Advances Your Job Skills
Another benefit of volunteering is making you perfect your career skills, making your resume more credible to your employer, and so helping you land a better job opportunity. It places you in real-life work situations such as working in a team, conveying your ideas for a project, managing tasks, to name just a few.
In sum, charitable work and volunteering is a great way to advance yourself and the society, which you are a part of. It gives a change to one’s monotonous life. Further, it may also allow your children to explore their own passions and give them ideas on what career to pursue in the future, as well as nurturing within them a charitable spirit.
It is the perfect retreat to escape to from your regular routine, and it may come as a surprise, but when returning to your work life and routine, you will find yourself more energetic as well as your performance way better than before.
If you would like to volunteer at Raedan Institute, why not call us for a friendly chat and see how you can support our communities.
- Anon 2019, ‘What are the benefits of volunteering?’, NCVO, <https://data.ncvo.org.uk/impact/benefits-of-volunteering/>.
- Charity Commission & Frontier Economics 2019, ‘The Value of the Charity Sector – An Overview’, <https://www.frontier-economics.com/media/3495/the-value-of-the-charity-sector-2019.pdf>.
- Horoszowski, M 2015, ‘5 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering’, Forbes, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/03/19/5-surprising-benefits-of-volunteering/?sh=588b21fd127b>.