The effect of this day of action and caring has been felt not only throughout South Africa but internationally as well. On Mandela Day companies and individuals descend on local charities and good causes to do whatever they can to make a difference.
But why do we help others? Why is it an inherent quality in so many people? We know it makes us feel good – but why?
Each one of us has needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all. It states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs of survival itself.
This is what his model looks like:
What’s fascinating is that these needs are not only interlinked but also interdependent. When you look at Levels 1 and 2, Physiological and Safety, and correspondingly levels 3 to 5, Belongingness, Esteem and Self-actualisation, it’s clear that those with the ability to assist others in achieving levels 1 and 2 will benefit themselves in achieving their own needs in levels 3 to 5. Need 3, Belongingness, is like the ace – it’s interchangeable and satisfies the needs of both the giver and receiver of a kind gesture.
It’s clear that when you give unselfishly of yourself you begin to satisfy your own needs for belonging and self-esteem. These are some of the elements that provide real meaning, purpose and true personal development – and, yes, giving does make you feel good!
At FPM we’re addicted to the uplifting feeling we get when we give back. We understand that we don’t operate in isolation but we do have a direct impact on our community and it’s our choice as to whether the impact is positive or negative.
We, too, are developing our cause list for Mandela Day, but – even more important – we have an ongoing commitment to making a difference in every way we can.
Nelson Mandela said “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it”. Chances are it’s unreasonable to believe we can do this in one day, but if we all strive to make every day a Mandela Day we have a greater chance of making this world a better world for everyone who lives in it.
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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.