In a world consumed by the selfie and all things “self-development”, it’s often easy to get immersed in the culture of improving one’s self – and one’s self only. They say giving back involves a certain amount of giving up, which is true. Giving up plans, giving up money, giving up time.
Life’s busy as a young professional. Between rushing out of the office to make it to your 6pm spin class, and grabbing a quick drink every Thirsty Thursday with your girls, it’s hard to make time for volunteering and giving back. But once in a while, it’s nice to do something for someone else, and not get anything in return.
Giving back doesn’t always mean that you have to jet set to a foreign country, and help the local people of a developing village. Of course, it’s an amazing way to give back, but there are so many ways to help – right in your own neighbourhood.
We’re talking random acts of kindness. The homeless man you pass every day on your way to work? Start there. Buy him lunch or drop off a drink; try to do something that requires you going out of your way. Even the smallest of acts go a long way, and can contribute to changing someone’s life.
Start small, and don’t put pressure on yourself. Tell the over-achieving voice inside your head to shut up – because you’re giving back the best you can, and that’s all that matters.
Another great option is to get involved in the volunteer work your company offers. Many organizations, especially corporations, have partnerships with a variety of charities. This gives you the option of getting involved at work, and expands your network at the same time.
Benefits of Giving Back
There are so many worthwhile reasons to give back and to help those around you. Besides the obvious, helping someone in need; giving back helps you gain a new perspective in life. When you experience the hardships and obstacles that you may often be oblivious to, it can be a major eye-opener. No matter how hard life may seem, there is always someone that is going through a harder challenge. Sometimes it takes an inside look to be grateful for what you’ve got.
Volunteering also helps you connect with like-minded individuals. When you get involved and give back to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart, you’ll also make social connections with those who are giving back with you. It’s refreshing to be around people that want to help others – and sometimes a step away from the corporate world is what you need to get you there.
This just in: giving back is always in style. 😉