In this blog, I continue to talk about giving within the concept of “giving back.” In simple terms, giving back simply means “to return something.” In business and in life, giving back is often associated with “taking” something first and through a value exchange, there is some sort of “return” at a later point in time. For example, a deal between companies may result in a future promotion or discount for the next deal that they make, or freebies, possibly perks as part of securing that deal.

The concept of “giving back” is very common also in philanthropy. Often when I watch shows on TV or read magazines that feature very famous people who started poor or being underprivileged often talked about “giving back” to the community they have benefited from, or that they simply want to “give back” to their mentors or specific individuals that helped them to achieve by supporting their causes, continuing on their legacy or honouring them by donating large sums of money to various events and foundations or helping out in other ways. These are just some examples of “giving back”.

But not all are rich and famous that can afford to splurge financially. We can also “give back” by offering our time and talents for worthy projects and activities. Giving back out of gratitude, giving back freely and willingly, and NOT giving back not out of guilty conscience is what we are talking about. For example, if one thinks of the number of times a mum drops off her kids to a friendly neighbour willing to look after them for a few hours, it would not be too unreasonable if this mum also occasionally “gives back” to the neighbour by offering to look after the neighbour’s house, pet or even kids when they are away, or to at least give this neighbour food or something else as a gesture of appreciation.

It is not so much about the value of what one actually “took” or benefitted from that is important in considering how much to give back and in what form this “giving back” will take. But it is important to think about what we can give back that will be of greater benefit to another person who may actually be in need.