It can be disconcerting to make sense of how little is within our control and how much we would like to have the world be different than it is. Whether its politics, culture, the environment, or society in general, our lack of control over these forces that have a massive impact on our lives can be difficult to make sense of. Even when we do our best to make positive change in the world, it may only cause what I have previously referred to as a ‘ripple effect.’ However, we don’t realize that not only does the good we do ripple out in the world in a small yet powerful way, but we become the better for it as a result.
The good work we do whether it’s volunteering, donating, or contributing to society in our job or a non-paid effort can not only improve the state of the world in a measurable way but also make us feel good in the process. Other people in our lives may or may not know about these contributions that we make whether it’s with our physical labor, our financial resources, or just a caring thought or gesture but if we are the ones making the effort, we should take the time to recognize its significance and the beauty of the act itself.
It does not hurt to pat yourself on the back metaphorically for showing up and doing your part. I don’t believe it is egotistical or detrimental to your self-esteem to recognize that you are taking time or money to do something good in the world. While you should not expect others to be so forthcoming in their adulation or praise of what your contribution means, you should feel good about helping others or helping nature or just being kind and caring towards your fellow man or woman.
If you feel like you’re in a rut, I truly believe volunteering some time out of your busy schedule and working towards a goal in that kind of volunteer work can really cheer you up and make you feel a bit better about the world. So much these days is out of our own control in an increasingly technologically driven, lightning-fast world where we do not have as much time to slow down and focus on what really matters, which is to leave the world better than you found it.
The work can be hard, disappointing, and even cause you to question whether it is worth your time or money but hold true to the reason why you got into doing work for the betterment of others in the first place. While it is considered a selfless act to volunteer or to donate or to work for others, do not let yourself forget that it feels good to do good and you’ll often be better off for having done that work even if it was difficult, thankless, or draining to you mentally or physically.
Having that sense of control, to work hard towards a specific goal, and to feel better for having stuck with your good work to its end are all ways that can make us feel good about doing good. People all need to feel that sense of self-worth and to have that self-esteem be boosted a bit and that can come with taking the time or money or both to contribute to the betterment of the world around you. While time and money are precious resources for which we tightly hold onto at times, perhaps too much so, it is without question a good use of time and/or money to help those people out who are less fortunate than you are.
Only you can decide how much of either precious resource, time or money, that you would like to contribute as a volunteer but I promise that whatever you decide to take upon you in terms of doing good, you can guarantee that whatever effort or work you put in will pay you back in the most beautiful way in that sense of satisfaction and contentedness you can get from healing the world or helping a person or contributing to a social cause you care about a lot.
The work involved will be difficult and you will need to put in hours, days, and sometimes months or years to see the fruit of your labor lead to the good you sought to come about as a result. The blood, sweat, and the tears you put in may not seem worth it but if you work in a group or a team with other committed people who care about the same good work that you do, not only will it be easier, but it will be done quicker.
During the good work you do, make sure to keep reminding yourself that results will take time, that you have your goals clearly in mind as to why you’re contributing to do good in the first place, and to remember that you may not get praise from others but that your own satisfaction and happiness from contributing will be most powerful as it comes from within you. We only have so much time to volunteer and to do some good on our own terms so make sure you think deeply about how you want to contribute and why you’re contributing to that cause.
Other people, even friends and family, may question why you are dedicating your time and/or your money to the good work you’re doing, but you do not need their approval to go forward with reaching your goals. You only need to deeply internalize that doing good will make not only you feel good about it but the people or environment or our world, which will be better off as a result. If you have to justify why you did the work you did, don’t look to other people to confirm your righteousness but rather look within yourself in your heart to see what you contributed was needed, that you had the skills or the knowledge to help out, and that the impact you made was measurable and that it could ‘ripple’ out through the society and the entire world.