I read The Life You Can Save a few years back which furthered my and my husband's desire to give. We realized that giving more did not mean compromising on the things we needed or enjoyed doing in our own lives. Instead, we were able to make a difference to the lives of others which we feel has, in turn, made us better people.
Charity and altruism can be very difficult concepts to explain. I believe that you either have an innate understanding of why you give or don't, and introducing the idea to someone who does not see the benefit is likely to get a negative response. And fair enough, everyone is entitled to their own way of thinking and their own opinions. All I hope is that others will keep an open mind about charity and giving and not close their hearts to the idea. However, what I would like to do is explain why my husband and I give to various causes.
Firstly, charitable donations and voluntary work are a direct reflection of our values and perspectives. Whenever we donate money or give time, we are contributing towards something we feel has importance. We want to see food available to the homeless people in our community, so we donate to the local shelter. We wanted to fight child poverty, so we found out about organizations that are fighting for such change, and began sponsoring a young child in India a few years ago. The real question is whether you have found something with enough importance to you to speak out with your time or your pocketbook.
Secondly, helping others improves your self worth in many ways. Once you've given something to a cause or charity that you truly believe in, you feel a wonderful sense of happiness. The money in your pocket or the time on your hands went towards a cause beyond what you can manage in your daily life. Together with likeminded people, we can actually bring about change in the world.