“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
- Anne Frank
There was a Friends episode in which Joey was determined to show Phoebe that there was no such thing as a truly selfless deed, because when you do good things for others it makes you feel too good to be counted as totally selfless. As you know if you watched the show, Joey was a wise man.
Giving your time, energy, money, and other resources to someone who could benefit from them just about can’t help but make you feel great inside, even if you don’t actually see the eventual outcome of your generosity. Like the butterfly effect concept, you never know what monumental effect a simple act of kindness can have on an individual, a family, or even a community.
Interestingly, the more you give, the better you’ll get at it. Giving of your time or money forces you to become a better steward of those resources, increasing your time management skills and your awareness of your finances. In fact, most leading financial magazines I read have endorsed giving ten percent of your income to a cause you are passionate about, because the increased awareness of your savings and spending habits usually reaps enough personal benefit to offset the ten percent donation in the long run.
Yep. Giving of yourself, however you choose to do it, can be a downright selfish act. So go treat yourself by sending a check to your favorite charity, or indulge yourself by spending the day serving food to the homeless.