Did you know that Nigeria was ranked 16th out of 146 countries in the World Giving Index – published by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2018? According to the ranking, Nigeria is ranked one of the most improved countries over time with a score of 48%. This is pretty good all things considered, but what are the motivations behind our giving? What are the long term benefits of donating your time and resources to help others?
Let’s discuss a few.
It makes you feel good about yourself
As humans, we are in perpetual pursuit of happiness. We live our whole lives yearning for a utopia, whether it’s through the promise of good grades; a high paying job; even the perfect spouse.
One thing that is scientifically proven to improve long-term happiness is giving. A lot of research has been done on the connection between generosity and happiness and experts say that there is a part of the human brain that is unlocked after giving. This creates the “warm glow” often associated with charitable acts.
The bottom line is; donating makes you happy.
It sets a good example for your kids
Children pick their cues from their parents. The surest way to get your kids to be generous is to lead by example. Pick a cause and share it with them. Have regular discussions about what it means to help people and how to give to the community.
You are personally involved in making your community better.
The more you donate to a worthy cause the better the environment around you will get. Also, volunteering is great way to give back to your community. Nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing you are personally involved in the rehabilitation your community.
It reminds you to be grateful for what you have
Most times we only look at what we don’t have. We worry about the next rung on the ladder; struggling to get ahead and constantly looking up to those who have more than we do or our ‘superiors’.
Donating to the less privileged often reminds us of the harsh realities of life and the struggles that people go through to survive. In doing so, we are constantly reminded of how much we have and how blessed we are.
Improve your money management skills
The same way giving to charity helps you stay grateful; it also helps you to plan and budget better.
Donating gives you a better insight into your priorities and allows you to adjust your spending. Most times, people that give to charity are more prudent when it comes to money and tend to make better choices when spending.
It helps you fulfill your religious obligations
Most religions encourage charity as a way to improve one’s faith. Even though charity can take many forms, they are all considered important in religion.
In Christian theology, Charity (Latin Caritas) is considered as one of the seven virtues and is understood by Thomas Aquinas as “the friendship of man for God”, which “unites us to God”. He holds it as “the most excellent of the virtues”.
While in Islam, Charity (Zakat) is one of the five pillars of Islam, which is compulsory for every Muslim.
Consider donating your time or resources, not just for the sake of others, but for your own sake too. It really does pay to be generous.