There’s a famous Chinese proverb that goes like this:
If you want happiness…
For an hour – Take a nap
For a day – Go fishing
For a month – Get married
For a year – Inherit a fortune
For a lifetime – Help somebody else!
For some reason, there are two occasions that have the tendency to bring out the best in people. Those two occasions are catastrophic events and the holiday season.
When I was 10 years old, I heard a priest say, in a homily; “you might be upset because you have no shoes but if you look at your neighbor, he might have no feet!” Those words changed how I would look at life from that moment on. That priest helped me look at life with gratitude!
Many of us go through life as a routine; almost like a “hamster on a wheel.” But what happens when we look up and out? What happens when we stop focusing on how we are feeling and see that someone else might be worse off than we are? When we focus on being helpful to others, something magical happens.
When we take the time to give to others, looks what happens
- Giving makes us feel Joy – Did you know that giving money to someone else lifts our happiness more than spending it on ourselves? It doesn’t have to be money, we can also give of our time or talent. Personally, I find that whenever I give of my time, talent or treasure, I receive more satisfaction and joy than I feel I am giving to others. It is absolutely true when they say; “It is better to give than to receive!”
- Giving improves our health – I read an article that reports that giving to others increases health benefits in people with chronic illness, including HIV and multiple sclerosis. Studies have found that elderly people who volunteer for two or more organizations are 44% less likely to die over a five-year period than are non-volunteers. These studies accounted for their age, exercise habits, general health, and negative health habits like smoking. Most importantly, giving reduces stress!
- Giving promotes a social connection – Any time I have volunteered, I find myself enjoying the company of people I would have never met had I not given of my time. I alone can accomplish a few things but when I belong to a group of “like minded people”, together we can effect greater change.
- Giving evokes gratitude – When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. If you want to feel gratitude, start counting your blessings. Look at all life experiences as gifts and lessons, no matter the outcome. I always say; “The best state to live in, is the state of grace!”
- Giving is contagious – Whenever we give, the action of giving causes a release of oxytocin. (Oxytocin is a hormone that is also released during sex and breast feeding) Oxytocin is not only released in us, the giver, it is also released in the recipient and anyone who has witnessed the act of kindness. Giving causes a “ripple effect”… Let the ripple start with us!
Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 12 pm to 2 pm, on The Lillian McDermott Radio Show, we will be discussing Gratitude & Giving! Please feel free to call 321-631-1300 and let me know how you are creating a “ripple effect” in your home, community and in the world!
So talk to me, listen and we will all learn together! The Lillian McDermott Show, Saturdays from 12 pm to 2 pm ~ On the “Talk to me Station” AM 1300 WMEL and worldwide at www.WhenYouNeedaFriend.com
“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”