The Joy of Giving in South Africa
South Africa is a boiling pot of cultures with a complex socio-eco environment. The rich seem to be rich and the poor… Well very poor. But no matter where we fall between these lines a large part of our nation engages in some form of regular giving. We give to those in need at robots, band together to send relief to areas ravaged by fire and make plans to send water cross country to quench thirsts. These acts of giving stems from a much deeper human need found within all of us- The desire to want to help other people, in truth, often brings more joy to the giver than the one receiving.
True joy lies in the act of giving without the expectation of something being given in return. Of course, we all love to receive gifts and favours, but the joy we get from receiving is often short-lived. Truly sharing or giving something to somebody else in need nourishes the soul and fills our lives with a sense of prolific joy.
When you make other people happy you in turn achieve a sense of fulfillment, meaning and happiness in your life.
So let’s take a look at the benefits of joyful giving:
There is a connection between altruism and happiness. That being said, when you do a selfless act it activates the reward center of your brain causing it to release endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s way of rewarding you with a good feeling. The high experienced from such a release by the brain can be addictive but in this case totally legal.
Improved Life Satisfaction and Happiness
Another benefit of giving to others is that it can help you experience greater satisfaction in life. It doesn’t matter what you give and can be either your time or resources or hey why not both. People who give tend to experience higher levels of contentment and joy than those who don’t.
Reduced Rates of Stress
There are many things that you can do to reduce stress and surprisingly, donating to charity or giving to others is one of them. People who volunteer or make charitable contributions tend to have better health and less stress. Confirmed by studies at both the University of Tennessee and Johns Hopkins University, they found that charitable givers have a lower blood pressure and reduced stress.
Donaters become intimately familiar with their deeper self – both spiritually and emotionally. In fact, philanthropy is a key component in many religious belief systems in the world. It increases your capacity for love and makes you realize that even if you do not have much, you have enough to share with others.
Reduce your Tax Burden (T&C’s apply)
In South Africa provided you are donating to a Public Benefit Organization (PBO) they will be able to issue you with a Section 18a tax exemption certificate. We don’t believe it should be the main reason for donating but if you give a lot it definitely doesn’t hurt to get a break from SARS. When you donate, you can retain the records so you that you can report them when itemizing your tax returns. The best thing is that you don’t need to contribute cash to enjoy this benefit since donating unwanted items like furniture, vehicles or clothing is also allowed.
The joy is giving is real. When you give or perform random acts of kindness to other people, you’ll experience a sense of contentment, happiness, and self-worth that money can’t buy and sustain.