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Why We Give To Charity: The Human Race At Its Most Exceptional

Why We Give To Charity: The Human Race At Its Most Exceptional

The motivation to help others can spring from multiple thought processes, such as a desire to improve your overall lifestyle, simply achieving that “feel-good” factor, or even wanting to declare your social status through wealthy donations. The question is though, at the end of the day, why do we truly give to charity? Does giving to a charity make you happier, is it that happier people give more, or is it something else?

Modern culture and free-thinking attitudes

Current science at play shows that we naturally want to help others, and that giving makes you happier in general. That warm, fuzzy feeling is your body responding positively to your actions. This particular human trait, at its most basic yet most fundamental, is an ideology that goes back as far as ancient Greece — to the concept of eudaimonia (human flourishing).

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Eudaimonia can be broken down into two differing viewpoints. The first is understanding that human virtue (let’s say, the act of giving to charity) is a prerequisite for people to flourish, to become better, yet acknowledges how external factors such as personal wealth and love can have a positive impact on happiness. The second view is that happiness should be achieved by human virtue alone — a difficult belief in modern times, perhaps.

Current theories suggest that the more happy you are, the more you give to charity. However, further research suggests that there is a growing age gap between those who give to charity the most: over 60s are twice as likely to give than any other demographic. So, are we a less-generous generation than those before us? Are we just less happy? Or is being “a good person” no longer enough to be happy?

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Well, if we put forward the concept of eudaimonia as a possible way of living your life, the reasons for people being happy aren’t exactly prominent on the surface of things — you only have to watch the news to believe that. However, when you really think about it, the concept of “you must have this in your life to be happy” is rather subjective — to the point where it doesn’t really mean anything because what you constitute as success can be completely different to somebody else. The same can be said of love, security, and happiness itself — these are constantly evolving ideals and not static notions. It’s impossible to gauge what constitutes happiness because people have personal viewpoints, and this includes why you give to charity.

Why humanity is brilliant

Britain, as a charitable nation is testament to that free-thinking mindset. Since the devastating recession in 2008, in the face of economic collapse, rising interest rates, unpayable bills, and uncertain futures for charities, the one thing the British public have held fast in is giving to charity. In, 2014/15 Marie Curie were able to provide care for 40,712 people with terminal illnesses, as well as their families. It’s an amazing fact that although times are hard, we still give to others.

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Today, it feels as though we don’t give because we are happy, we give because we emotionally react to a situation — we have something to connect to and to follow, whether good or bad.

So, this brings us to the question of why do we really give to charity? In modern culture, people don’t give to charity just because they’re happy, although that is still a fair enough reason. People give because they have the ability to see the world around them. They see countries devastated by nature, disease, and corruption, and seeing cancer tear through a family emotionally impacts us. It’s this understanding that leads to giving. People want to help, we know this, but they give more because they can see its benefit. This isn’t giving necessarily because you are happy, this is giving because helping your fellow man is an ultimate cause — and that is a huge difference. We have flourished to the point where negative feelings can lead to self-improvement just as much as positive feelings. That’s incredible growth.

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The purpose of giving to charity is not self-satisfaction, its purpose is to help those in need. This is something the British public, and indeed the rest of the world, are acutely aware of. It’s why annual events such as Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal are exceptional human reactions to helping those in need. They let us see exactly how we can help by giving, and the benefits of what we give — and long may this continue.

Featured photo credit: Faces Helped By Charity: Water via flickr.com

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Why We Give To Charity: The Human Race At Its Most Exceptional

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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