I find happiness in giving to others, or contributing to organisations that help others, being someone not earning a high wage means that I tend to give my time and skills instead of money. I am a Trustee for a charity at the moment, I also help at my local community hospital on 2 days a month, and I help where I can on other projects.
Giving is an important part of my life, and of late I have been a bit worried that the society in which I live has forgotten about the rewards of giving, instead focusing on the selfish rewards we want from life alone. I am not saying that we do not deserve good things in life, merely that we need to sometimes see the bigger picture. I am just as much to blame in this as I fall into the trap of believing that ownership of things will bring me happiness, and it is just not true. I look at my belongings and truly wonder what brings me joy, and there are not always the answers that I expect.
For example I own a fair amount of children’s books, I love them, and they enrich my life and often those around me too. They are an example of something I own that brings me joy, but I also experience that same joy by giving them away from time to time, admittedly I will sometimes buy a new one. Children’s books remind me daily of the importance of reading and imagination, and they have been and are an important part of my life. Some of you will know that my grandma wrote children books for a living, she was very much an important person in showing me about life both through her books but also through life. I often think one of the greatest things she gave to society was her stories, and I was lucky enough to know her personally.
I often describe what I give as boring, and I think I do myself an injustice really in saying this, because I don’t find it boring, I see the value in it. I like finical and strategic planning, I enjoy the administration of finance and organisations; for me if this is done right it means that organisations and individuals have the power to do amazing things and I am able to be part of the support allowing them to do those things. I am not massively passionate about any one subject apart from doing things well in a sensible ways from the beginning to end in charities, this means have good well practiced administration systems, it means being able to track money from the point it enters and organisation to the point it leaves, this is not boring to me, it is about good usability and accountability.
The only exception to me not being massively passionate about any one subject is probably my belief in education, and when I say education I don’t just mean school or FE or even university; I mean learning by doing and passing on skills to others, giving people confidence. Education for me is a lifelong passion, something you don’t stop doing at any point in your life. I learn new things every day, and part of my belief in giving comes from the need to learn new things from both myself and others.
So without meaning to this sounds a little less like an article and more like a bunch of opinions that I just wanted to write down, but I still believe we can share and give value to others by sharing our skills, our lives, and being passionate about stuff with others. I think we have an obligation to give to others, in a non-selfish way; be it our time, that of ourselves or just what we can afford.