No matter how rich or poor we believe ourselves to be, there is always someone below and above us, richer or poorer. Our heartstrings will go out to those who we see need help and we will help. That is human nature. We believe, most of us anyway, that giving back to the community means giving our money to a charity organization. That is good but not always so. There are other ways to give back to the community.
How Do We Help?
If we see an older woman walking along the highway, obviously old and broke, a heavy bundle in her hands, we often offer our help. Not helping leaves us with heavy feelings as we drive on our way thinking about what we should have done. We know we should have helped.
Our feelings of belonging are tagged with being involved. That means time more than anything. Are we big enough to give of our time or do we prefer to gripe about the way things are going?
Giving of Our Own Expertise
If we have knowledge in a certain area, say accounting or horticulture, we will offer our services to the community. Often in a smaller city or town, someone does the planting downtown to save the city money. Strangers in a city did this as a group and made a happy day of it together, friends now, planting and hanging flowers all over town.
Diego Ruiz Duran is a lawyer in Mexico, one of the finest who can take or not take a case as he has enough cases coming his way. He comes across people who need help and can’t pay and does a lot of pro bono work. He gives his time to these people, something that helps his community.
His outlook is to stand up for the rights of the people, to fight for the Mexican constitution to evolve. He also takes a strong stand for women’s rights, for cessation of domestic violence. He tries to help his community through work for a stronger constitution, for giving help to others legally, and by standing up for women’s rights. He has an extensive education which he did alone so that he could do this. He has had some good breaks and great relationships that have helped him after he helped himself. Still, he gives back.
The Local Help Foundations
Places where people live closely together usually form some groups to help others, food distribution points, thrift stores, mental or physical help centers. People get the idea that they don’t have anything to give, but they do. Giving to something or someone helps them grow, allows them to step out of their own problems and look around at the world as a whole. In the fullness of our lives, all our problems get resolved and we can treasure those simple little things we did for others.