Altruism. It’s defined as a selfless concern for the happiness of others – and needless to say, it’s important to exercise it regularly. When we see others doing so, it tends to re-affirm our faith in humanity. Did you know a good deed can help more than just the beneficiary, though?
Let’s explore who else it benefits – and how…
Obviously, if you support a charity, you’ll be helping its service-users – after all, they’re what the cause is all about. But have you considered the charity staff, who are often overrun with admin and non-user-facing tasks? In volunteering, you’ll be able to assist with some of these jobs, freeing up time for staff as a result. Help out with non-essential work, and you’ll give trained employees the time that they need to perform outstanding work for users of the charity. Donate your time as well as money to a cause, and you’ll be able to double your positive impact on it.
Your local community
Unsure about whether you’ve got enough to donate? Most often, the best way to work this out is by looking through your projected outgoings for the rest of the year, and then comparing these with your guaranteed income. That way, you’ll be able to assess if you can meet your own needs, or whether to consider funding alternatives. If the latter applies to you, don’t worry – you can always give your time instead of cash.
With this in mind, how about finding a local cause that you can help out with? Whichever project you choose, you’ll be sure to benefit not just the charity users, but also the local area, simply by building strong links within the community. Sites like Charity Checkout are a great place to find nearby voluntary opportunities.
You – and those around you
Of course, the main focus of altruism is to help others – but let’s not forget that it can benefit those who practice it, too. How? It’s fairly simple. As experts are keen to point out, altruistic acts typically release endorphins in our brain, which in turn trigger a positive feeling. Volunteer for a good cause, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a warm feeling when you do. And if you’re happier, those you spend lots of time with (i.e. your close friends and family) are likely to be as well.
Most often, if you’re wanting to feel better about yourself, it’s best to start by helping others. So, why not head out into the local community to get started on your altruistic journey?