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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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