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Donation is a habit

Posted January. 04, 2018 08:51,   

Updated January. 04, 2018 09:38


It all started with a simple act of giving. At a drive-thru coffee shop, a woman paid for her coffee and the order from the car behind her. The next customers paid for orders from cars behind them. This pay-it-forward went on for two days and 378 customers participated in. This happened in the United States in 2014. This pay-it-forward for free coffee became a buzz also in Korea as it excited people by showing a chain reaction of good deeds of people with a cup of coffee.

Karma Kitchen, which operates worldwide, is where you can participate in donation in everyday life through a sustainable way instead a one-off event. Anybody can dine in without paying for its meal thanks to pay-it-forward made by previous customers for a future guest. This is to continue a circle of giving through voluntary generosity. Karma is a Buddhist term for destiny you earn through your behavior. In other words, you will get as you act or behave. This correlates with a research finding that the level of happiness increases if you help others more.

Even as heartwarming stories are delivered from around the world, Korea seems to be the opposite. The number of personal contributor has decreased for four consecutive years since 2012. According to the Statistical Yearbook of National Tax, the number of personal contributor was 715,260 in 2016, which was an 8.8 percent decrease from the previous year. On top of that, it dropped 19.3 percent between 2012 and 2016. The main contributing factors were financial strain and mistrust for a charity.

Donation is an active act of expressing kindness to others. Such kindness can be fostered from practice and habitual activity. In advanced countries, the birthday donation is widespread to donate or pledge a child’s birthday in celebration. This is to use a birthday as a chance to learn the happiness coming from sharing. In the United States, personal contribution accounts for more than 70 percent of the total contribution, but it makes up only half of that in Korea. It is our responsibility to make the world a better place.