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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Gratefully giving back

"No one has ever become poor by giving."

- Anne Frank

We all have our own ways in which we donate our time, money, expertise and energy to other people and worthy causes. We all do it for different reasons too. It feels good to give when we know how much it can benefit and aid others who are in need. It's the type of win-win situation where everyone involved feels the positive effects of genuine kindness and generosity. A big plus about giving back is that there are so many different ways in which we can do it. It can also be quite contagious.

Not everyone has the same capacity to give. Some people have more time on their hands or money in their pocket. Some people have more expertise to offer. Not everyone is in a position to be a philanthropist, but everyone has the ability to give back in some capacity. Even donating items we no longer use can help others in need. We do not have to write big checks or volunteer hundreds of hours to feel the benefits of giving back. It should not be about how much we can give. It should be more about the intention and effort behind it.

I have mentioned how witnessing acts of kindness can produce oxytocin and serotonin, our happy-feel-good chemicals, further solidifying my claim that giving has positive effects on everyone involved. This is how giving can even become contagious. Think about those drive-thru chains where people keep paying their cup of coffee forward to the next driver in line. I think giving out of the goodness of our hearts, with no expectations, is a reminder of how we are not here to get through life on our own. We are all part of one big human community. Life becomes more manageable and enjoyable when we help each other out along the way.

I have found the best way to show gratitude toward life is to give back in whatever ways I can to help others improve their quality of life. Besides being a win-win situation, it also inspires me to keep working on myself. I can give back to myself by continuing to manage and elevate my own wellbeing. When we are able to maintain a healthy balance of helping others, while continuing to help ourselves, we can maintain that elevated feeling of wellbeing. This is something we can be truly grateful for.

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