You’ve made it through a multitude of personal inquiries. You’ve spent some time soul-searching, and hopefully have rediscovered, and are happily emoting your self-worth. Now you’ve come to one of the most pivotal chapters in your life; putting what you know to work for the benefit of others..
Giving back has multiple meanings and can be accomplished in numerous ways. You may think of such action as charity, philanthropy, altruism, or having a social conscience. Do these words resonate for you? Are you active in this area? Just a side note about philanthropy — when you first come in contact with this word, you may think it’s beyond you, as in an activity other people do; people with lots of time and money on their hands.
All of us can be philanthropists regardless of age, ethnic group, or economic status. While philanthropy is often expressed by a significant monetary donation to worthy causes, writing a check is only one way to flex your giving muscles. Many of you already use a combination of resources, including time, treasure, and talent to support causes you care about.
The common goal of all givers is to promote the welfare of others. Whether you’ve reaped rewards from life or feel you’ve been denied them, be one of those resilient individuals who help others simply because it feels right, just, and satisfying to do so.
While you may recognize that acts of charity and community service are good and necessary, you may not believe that you personally can make an impact on society. You may feel overwhelmed with the enormity of need that exists. You’re only one person after all, and there is so much to be done. But don’t be discouraged. Begin. As they say, if you save one person, you save a community.
There’s no limit to how much you can love, and basically, that’s what this is all about. Unconditional love. Besides, it is precisely at these moments of too much on your plate that will encourage you to learn how to juggle, or in the vernacular of women today, multi-task.
Did you know that giving to others is good for your overall health and well-being? It’s true. Giving of yourself to help the greater good has the added benefit of enhancing your sense of self-worth.
Giving back isn’t just something to do when you have extra time and extra money. Giving back helps complete the circle of life you are in. You are an important piece of the puzzle of life. Please don’t forget it.
If your life has been filled with disappointments, tragedy, abuse or violence, you may not think you owe this world much. On the other hand, you might have realized that if someone had given you a hand when you needed it, you’d have surmounted your difficulties that much sooner.
When your philosophy of life is set to a moral compass that instills in you the wish to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, such activities will add to your overall sense of authenticity and make you more conducive to experiencing happiness.
Make it a habit to give of your time, talent or treasure. There is no shortage of ways you can impact society and effect positive change. The critical question is not what you’ll do, but rather, how quickly can you begin?
Regardless of whether you save a village or feed one starving child, your philanthropy — your random acts of kindness, charity, and advocacy will leave a mark. The message you leave behind states clearly, “I have self-worth, and I believe you do too. We are part of a community. In the end, we are all worthy, worthwhile, and valid.”
Such conviction and clarity of purpose is what self-worth is all about.
The following suggestions are obviously like a grain of sand in a sand dune — there are thousands more. But hopefully they’ll provoke a thought-process that will reveal an area or cause you could see yourself connecting with. Please. Do.
- Volunteer at a school, library, or senior citizen’s retirement home.
- Join Big Sisters Big Brothers and mentor a child.
- Become a foster parent.
- Donate blood, or volunteer at a children’s hospital.
- Donate food to a local food bank, or go online and donate funds to Share Our Strength, to help end world hunger.
- Donate to a global organization like Heifer International to help communities build economic independence.
- Donate clothing and other necessities to a homeless shelter, or domestic abuse safe house.
- Sign up to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
- Help fund the mission of Doctors Without Borders.
- Participate in a sponsored walk or run a marathon for a cause you believe it, such as Cancer Research.
- Sponsor a child through global organizations such as Plan International, Save the Children, MercyCorps, and Unicef.
- Join the board of a non-profit organization that focuses on a critical need in your community.
- Marshall your resources and chair a fund-raiser.
- Give to an organization that provides micro-loans to women in developing countries, such as Grameen Bank and Kiva. www.kiva.org
- Advocate for women and girls by joining and donating to a woman’s fund, such as the Women’s Funding Network. www.wfnet.org and Women for Women Internationa.
- Buy make-up from I Am A Peacemaker Cause-metics, because the profits of certain items are donated to women who live on less than $1.00 a day. For them it is pennies from heaven.
- Write a check — a big one, or a little one. All will be welcomed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts on Intent Media. I hoped you gained some knowledge and understanding that will continue to lead you on your journey towards discovering and embracing your own self-worth.
Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.
By Cheryl Saban, Intent