Giving is known as one of the most selfless acts a person can do, it can also also be a selfish act.
Giving is only selfless when you are humble about it, just think, how many people really give out of pure consideration to those in need? I Many give because of how they will be perceived by others, others will perceive them as generous, and nice, and they will be the talk of the town, generating popularity for charity. In this case, giving is selfish.
Are You giving Selflessly?
You are giving selflessly if;
You are humble about your charity, you do not boast about the donation you made.
You do not expect to be acknowledged for your good will
You give out of empathy
You give despite a person’s reaction, (unselfish, overjoyed) etc.
Are You Giving Selfishly?
You give to make yourself look good
If you had no one to tell about your act of giving you would not give
You refuse to give to someone because they do not say thank you
You become angered at a person’s response to your gift, they were not happy or grateful enough
You talk about your charity work to all your friends and family over dinner
You make statements like; with all this giving I do I should be given a humanitarian award
You would rather have a news article about your act of giving printed in the paper as opposed to just giving without acknowledgement.
It is very true that not too many people give out of pure consideration, not too many people give to those in need because they want to see that person doing better, many people give because of that good warm feeling they get inside, think of a homeless person sitting downtown amongst dozens of passerby, with a cup in his hand, a passerby walks up and throws a dollar or two inside his cup, and it is not because he feels any compassion, or any empathy it is because he wants to be seen giving the man money, he wants to be perceived as generous, one in a million type of person. There are also many people who actually are emotionally affected by the homeless person’s deposition and will genuinely give from the heart, out of empathy and not because they want others to see them. I can safely say that I have given change to someone, not out of compassion but because I wanted others to see me give that person in need, money, I gave based on what other’s perception of me would be.
Too many people give selfishly without even recognizing that they are, for example Mike’s father’s birthday is coming up, and he wants to get him something spectacular not because he feels as though his father deserves it, but because he wants his present to outshine his brother’s present. In this example, mike is selfishly giving, because he wants to be applauded, and recognized for his gift, he wants to be the one everyone talk about during the party and after the party, Mike is giving for popularity.
Another example of selfish giving is one of my favorites, and it has happened to me.
An old boyfriend of mine would splurge up to $70 on roses for valentines day, and he would carry this big bouquet home to me, all while getting looks of awe from others. Later on we were to go out to dinner, and he wanted to carry this giant bouquet of roses with us, and he said because he wanted everyone to see what he bought me. This was one of the most selfish acts of giving that I have ever experienced. He would buy me roses to make himself look good, for the record I was not even a rose fan.
If a person did not crave that reward of good feeling would they give? If someone never said thank you would that person continue to give? Most humans are selfish by nature, they crave recognition that is usually achieved through a great act of giving, many humans only help others because of the response and feeling it formulates.
Many humans give because they are expecting a good feeling. There is a major difference between just having an unexpected good feeling and expecting a good feeling. If we give and expect no gratification, or praise, or recognition for that matter then we are selfless. Giving without expecting gratification is giving from the heart, just as is giving humbly, this type of giving is void of all selfish emotion, it is the highest act of being selfless.