Doing something for others is an integral part of every humanist system of thought since the dawn of time. Regardless if we’re talking about religion or philosophical belief, helping those less than fortunate than yourself was always something to take great pride in. Still, for a true empath, no celestial reward is needed. The idea of giving back and helping others should be a reward enough.
Now, since everyone should start in their backyard, giving back to your community should be a great way to proceed. Here are the top 5 benefits to confirm that this is, indeed, worth your time.
What Are Your Options?
There are many ways in which you can contribute to your community. For instance, you can host community outreach programs for students, volunteer at a local public kitchen, or just make a random act of kindness toward your neighbors. The truth is that the scope of your intervention and the amount of time and money that you choose to “donate” is for you to decide. With that out of the way, here are five things you stand to gain from it.
- Great For Your Mindset
Technically, we’re all giving something back to the community through taxes. However, this is mandatory, and, as such, the motivation behind it is quite unclear. Would you be giving back even without the threat of jail and fines? Well, the best way to find out is to try to do it of your own free will.
Unlike with taxes, when it comes to charity work and community events, you get to choose where your effort and time will go. Even better, you get to see the immediate results of your effort. For instance, if you’re hosting a workshop, by the end of it, local children are supposed to develop new skills and adopt new knowledge. If you’re planting trees, you’ll be able to count the exact number that you’ve planted in a day.
Either way, giving back to the community will help you understand that there’s more to life than consumerism and chasing profit. It will also give you positive reinforcement, seeing as how you’ll be able to see the immediate effects of your work.
- Finding Yourself
Contributing to the community is a great way for one to find out a thing or two about themselves. First of all, the only way to understand what you want is to step outside of the concept of doing something that you need. Paying your mortgage, your bills, your loans, etc., are imperatives and, as such, not something that you’re doing completely voluntarily.
Even when you say that you like/love your job, it’s arguable whether you genuinely love it or if you just think that, as far as employment goes, it’s not so horrible. Ask yourself one question – would you be doing it for free? If the answer is no (as is in the majority of cases), the truth is that you’re not completely voluntarily in it. Therefore, charity work and community engagement are the best ways for you to discover what you want.
Keep in mind that opportunities for civic engagement come in all shapes and forms, which is why you have more options to explore than you think. In general, helping others may be one of the first steps to getting your own life in order.
- Improving Your CV
No matter how you look at it, altruism is not always the reason to improve your CV. Having some community work on your resume will make it far more impressive, but it will also show something important to the person in charge of your interview. It will show that you’re willing to make an effort and a sacrifice, even if it has nothing to do with the betterment of your career. In other words, it shows that you’re a driven and committed person.
This is also an opportunity for you to prove that you’re a great match for their brand. You see, the majority of modern companies stand for some major causes or social issues as their mission. A company that heavily invests in eradicating world hunger might be impressed by the fact that you’ve volunteered at a public kitchen.
- Learn New Skills
One of the things worth mentioning is that participating in various programs will take you outside of your zone of comfort. This is the best way to adopt new skills and experience new things. While these skills may not necessarily be something that your future employer will be looking for, the more you know, the more you’re worth. You never know when one of these things will come in as handy, so why hold back?
Keep in mind that in a lot of cases, this community service is oriented towards spreading knowledge to those who would otherwise have no access to it. Keep in mind that teaching is a way to fortify your knowledge, as well. So, holding a workshop can give you more than you initially expected.
- Meet New People
The best thing about meeting people through humanitarian events is that you’re meeting those who have the same ethical and moral inclinations as yourself. You already have something in common, and should you plan to repeat this in the future, you would have an easier job at securing some company for the task at hand.
Keep in mind that some of these contacts may benefit you further down the line, as well as in your career. It’s not uncommon for people to meet lifelong friends this way or even their soulmates. Just think about it, this is a field in which people enter out of passion and compassion. What better circumstances can you hope to encounter?
For some people, the benefits of contributing to their community are self-evident and intrinsic. Even those who don’t feel this way would have an easy time rationalizing the need to do some good. After all, you’re a member of this community, and once you start giving back, the community, as a whole, becomes a better place to live in. Overall, it’s a win-win scenario, and the sooner you realize this, the better.