The Power of Giving
This means a community which gives both internally to its own members, as well as externally to those less fortunate than ourselves. The Canadian psychologist, Paul Bloom, put it best when he said:
”We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.”
That’s why, for the holiday season when we all celebrate with our loved ones, we wanted to share some of that warmth and love and so decided on a Commons clothes drop at the Unirii and Romana locations and donate everything to Samusocial – a local charity.
Several studies suggest that giving to others makes us happy, even happier than spending on ourselves.
Researchers in Great Britain assigned 86 participants to a survey measuring life satisfaction; they have been split as follows:
1. One group was instructed to perform a daily act of kindness for the next 10 days.
2. Another group was told to do something new each day over those 10 days.
3. The third group received no instructions.
After the 10 days, people from the groups that practiced kindness and engaged in novel activities both experienced a significant boost in happiness; meanwhile the third group didn’t get any happier. Hence, the findings suggest that good deeds do make people feel better —even when performed over as little as 10 days—and there may be particular benefits to varying our acts of kindness.
A second study, this time, conducted by researchers at Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia showed that kindness may have a longer, more profound effect on our happiness. In this study, the researchers instructed half of 51 participants to recall, as vividly as they could, the last time they spent $20 or $100 on themselves. The other half participants had to recall the last time they spent the same amounts on someone else. All the participants have been asked to complete a scale that measured how happy they were at that time. Researchers then gave the participants small sums of money and two basic choices:
They could spend it on themselves or on someone else (through a donation to charity or a gift).
The conclusions were:
- First, consistent with the British study, people in general felt happier when they were asked to remember a time they bought something for someone else.
- The second finding was even more provocative - The happier participants felt about their past generosity, the more likely they were in the present to choose to spend on someone else instead of themselves.
- The results suggest a kind of “positive feedback loop” between kindness and happiness, according to the authors, so that one encourages the other.
Lara Aknin, graduate student in psychology at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author said: “The practical implications of this positive feedback loop could be that engaging in one kind deed would make you happier, and the happier you feel, the more likely you are to do another kind act,”
In case you want to ”play” and measure your level of altruism, you can access below link:
Let’s not forget what Aesop once said: ”No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted!”
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holidays!