‘What a man can be, he must be.’- Abraham Maslow
All our adult lives we have learnt to compete, control, and collaborate to live a better life, but often land up being stressed, hassled and fatigued from a running a constant rat race. With every little thing we acquire or accomplish, our requirements increase, and more often than not, this becomes a cycle difficult to break.
And yet there are people willing to take things easy and settle for a quieter and more peaceful lifestyle, even if it’s not as financially viable as a super career-on-the-go. So are these two viewpoints opposite sides of a coin, or are they merely ends of a spectrum of lifestyle choices?
Our lifestyle choices are more part of a spectrum of various alternatives, rather than drastically opposite views with no meeting points in between.
Why Give Back?
Our lifestyles are our preferences, and often, with a little insight, our choices can be sufficiently altered to change our lifestyles in a way to achieve all our goals and not to lose ourselves in the process. One such choice for us to make is to give back to our society. We can choose to explore the side of our personality that allows us to be generous in giving, without expecting anything in return.
Giving back to the society not only makes us more generous, it also gives us a sense of purpose, and happiness in doing something for others who need it more. Giving back is de-stressing too, allowing us to keep a balance between our mad rush to fulfil our ambitions and our need to become a more responsible citizen and an individual. Although taking time out for voluntary activities sounds difficult initially; such activities offer a sense of fulfilment rarely found elsewhere.
Altruism, philanthropy, charity, community service – give it any name you want, but it’s beyond a doubt that giving back to the society is an enriching experience.
Warren Buffet says, ‘We see no dichotomy in encouraging entrepreneurs to build great companies while also thinking about the manner in which the good fortune that comes with successful business endeavours can be shared with the society that contributed to their success.’
Where to Start
Giving back to the society can begin from even the smallest of the gestures. Sharing knowledge for free, adding your voice to a common goal, or helping in a community project with your time are just the ways a beginner may start to give back. For more seasoned philanthropists, it can go into arranging fundraising events, campaigning for better facilities for the underprivileged, or even physically working side by side with community workers to help the community. The easiest way is of course donating money to your favourite cause, but money often needs to be ensured that it reaches the right place.
These days there are as many way of giving back as there are ways of earning money. Hotels and tour companies have come up with voluntourism packages that offer voluntary work options as you travel to various places in your country or abroad. Companies often recommend their employees an opportunity to be a part of their corporate social responsibility through their myriad voluntary activities. Non-profit organisations are always on lookout for ore volunteers to give them a hand in their developmental projects. And there are micro-projects being developed by individuals, or groups of individuals, on their own steam, to offer social support.
We have examples of celebrities like Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah Winfrey; and organisations such a Make-A-Wish Foundation, Red Cross, and UNICEF who have lend their time and money to causes for the underprivileged across the world.
Giving back to the society feels good, and creates a sense of self-worth. You can always choose to offer help in any way you can, to people who need it most, and see for yourself if such an experience can be life-altering.