How charitable are you?

There are all sorts of people in the world; some givers, some takers; some in need and others who just want; those too proud to ask or take and those too selfish to give. Our personalities or reasons for feeling or acting the way we do come from innate characteristics, as well as learnt or conditioned behaviour. So understanding why some people are so willing to invest themselves in the support of others, and some are not, is difficult. What makes a person decide to give for the sake of giving – either as an isolated act of kindness or donation of money to a long-term commitment like working for an organisation as a volunteer?
Giving can be for public benefit; altruism, or private benefit: when the giver gets something out of the giving. Although some people may be altruistic when giving, it would be naive to think most giving is done in this way. Aside from the obvious occurrences where giving is done in anticipation of what we will get back, the dominant motivation is the internal satisfaction individuals derive from the act of giving itself. There is nothing at all wrong with this. We feel good about giving because it makes us happy to have had a positive effect on someone else without any other reward than gratification.  
When we choose to offer small acts of kindness the ripple effects can be far-reaching. Not only do we feel good about making another feel good, but that person is likely to then do something for someone else. Somebody who has just received a bit of kindness is elevated, happy, and grateful, making them likely to help someone else. Everybody comes out feeling better!
Giving can come back in so many ways in fact. A good deed done for someone a long time ago is unlikely to be forgotten by the recipient or those close to them and opportunities often come up when it gives them great pleasure to give back, even to your children. There is no better feeling than seeing your child benefit from a good turn you have done, more so if the act derived from innocence.
Despite this win-win situation, and despite the general feeling of a sense of responsibility to help another in need, there remains an attitude in today’s society that people in need are to blame for their own situation and should help themselves. We are living in a time when many believe it is every man/woman for themselves and hearts have been hardened, compassion has been lost and love diminished.
How refreshing it is when we look around us and see among the despair, walk people with charitable hearts and minds. How inspirational to hear of people working tirelessly for a group of people on the other side of the world they have never even met.
How uplifting to see both young and old, of all races, classes and gender getting up in the morning with the purpose of making life better somehow for others, to the point of much more than simple acts but in a structured, committed effort.  It is those who dedicate a part of their lives to giving we need to be applauding. It is them who go out into the world and see a need, find solutions and act.
If we are to be a progressive and successful society, we should want all our members to thrive. In order for this to happen, there will be times we must assist less fortunate members to enable them the opportunity to become valuable members of that society. When you consider the effects each person can have on another, as a mentor, a teacher, a guide, an ear or a shoulder, the power in support is recognised.
Whatever the reasons behind those members of our societies who continue to give of themselves, we need to be grateful that they do. Who knows if we will one day become a person in need who will be so glad that there are charitable people out there willing to help? More people should be of the opinion it is the duty of every human being to provide at least some assistance to those in need. We should all be ready to offer a helping hand when needed and if more of us did, many of the ills faced each day would diminish. How can you make a difference?