Everyone has his or her own answer to this question. Some may offer different explanations why, while some may begin by thinking of reasons why not. It is important to understand the reasons behind why someone may or may not want to give.
In Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book, The Secret, where it is said that the key to one’s happiness is in one’s mind, suggests with certainty that one only needs to ask, believe, and receive. In this process, you should ask what you want – a successful career, a fruitful relationship, or as simple as time for yourself.
The next step is to believe, that is, to pretend to have already received what has been asked for. It may seem like a leap away from all that makes sense, but it does teach us to be thankful even before receiving what the heart wants.
The final step, which is to receive, makes us feel a sense of accomplishment which is sometimes accompanied by a breath of relief. With all the positive emotions overflowing during this step, we are compelled to share this with a loved one. This is where we become thankful after receiving what was asked for, and where you decide to give, for whatever reason.
It is natural for someone to give something to friends or family, but what if the recipient is a total stranger? A community? A cause? Will it make so much of a difference?
Perhaps if the stranger has more commonalities with the giver. Perhaps if the giver identifies something that connects him or her to the community. Perhaps if the cause is closer to your heart. But still, maybe, all these do not make a difference.
I remember a figure in my life who once said that “blessings,” be it from a higher being or from the universe itself, do nothing to change someone’s personality, but to simply magnify who he or she is in the first place. A person who gives, upon receiving something, will give even more. A person who does not give, upon being in the same situation, will grow greedier. It is worth noting though that keeping everything for oneself may not be a display of selfishness, but sheer practicality. Likewise, giving everything to others may not be a display of altruism, but one more step toward self-fulfillment.
Then why bother giving? Giving, no matter what it is involved – time, energy, money, anything – is the ultimate act of giving a piece of oneself to someone else, a truly noble act in and of itself. Giving, despite the lack of any compensation, produces the volunteers, donors, and charity organizations that are the happiest in what they do. Indeed, just as it has been revealed in The Secret, giving and being thankful are not simply the result of optimism, but are also its causes. And because it is a cycle, and not just a one-time process, it is no wonder that those who give become the happiest individuals on earth.