To Give or Not to Give?

What does it mean to you to help others? Generosity seems to be the most overused word in the English language at the present time, and we all go on and on about how important it is to give ourselves to others: our time, our money, our knowledge, anything. We all strive to be ‘generous’, but is it really for the benefit of others, of those less fortunate than ourselves? Or is a generous act something we undertake to boost our social image, our ego, our sense of self-importance.

Many companies nowadays have Corporate Social Responsibility objectives to meet. Whether this involves making a regular donation of a proportion of its profits to a charity, or funding socially- or environmentally-minded projects, there’s no doubt that this is a wholesome and humane thing to do, but the cynic in all of us niggles in the back of our mind that Corporate Social Responsibility is merely a company’s effort to self-aggrandise, to boost its image of doing ‘good’ in the community and thus to boost its sales. Some may purchase products or services from a particular company because they assume that that company is ‘responsible’.

However, at the end of the day, optimism is always more ideal when considering the state of the planet, mankind’s behaviour, our own day-to-day actions and the motivations for doing such things.

To give to others, in a completely selfless way, without the expectation that you will acquire anything in return, is of utmost importance to living a healthy and satisfying life. Today, right at this moment, is the time for us all to lift ourselves out of self-pity and the typical “woe is me” victim mentality of the 21st Century Western World and to consider those who possess less than you; and not only possession in the materialistic sense of the word. Of course, we must consider those who haven’t a garment on their back, a roof over their head, or a coin in their pocket. But we also must consider those without family or friends, those in mental or physical despair, those without aspiration nor the means to reach the commonly quoted “self-actualisation”.

Having considered people like this, anyone that you believe is having a hard time in any respect, give! A smile is a form of giving, a simple ‘hello’ is too. A pat on the back can go a long way to improving someone’s day. On a larger scale, donate your time or money to a cause you know and trust, and don’t be shy to initiate your own project. Selfless generosity is always key.