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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 September 17, 2018

Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you? Do you wonder:

Why do I have bad luck?

Let me let you into a secret:

Your luck is no worse—and no better—than anyone else’s. It just feels that way. Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky.

1. Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside your self.

Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism, where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

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Most successful people take the opposite view. They have “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like.

They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

What’s different is their response. When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can.

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No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

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They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

To improve your fortune, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to you; then try focusing on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

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