The holiday season brings with it merry cheer and the one custom that is shared across many religious and cultural traditions…giving. We often hear the phrase “it is more blessed to give than to receive” quoted during this season. It is in this phrase that many find their sense of happiness and purpose.
Research done by social psychologist Liz Dunn and her colleagues shows that people’s sense of happiness is greater when they spend relatively more on others than on themselves. The survey was conducted with over 600 US citizens and of various income levels.
The most interesting fact from the research was that even those with little money reported greater happiness when their giving surpassed their receiving.
It should be to no surprise that some of the most successful people in the world attribute their financial success to the art of their giving. Take Bill Gates for example. Mr. Gates is one of the richest men in American with a net worth of 96.4 billion. He also continues to be one of the most generous philanthropists. This is another example proving that the key to financial prosperity is to give freely and generously. In a news conference held by Microsoft, Bill goes on to say…
“I believe that with great wealth comes great responsibility, a responsibility to give back to society and a responsibility to see that those resources are put to work in the best possible way to help those most in need.”
It may be easy to say, “Ok, Ann! I hear what you’re saying but I don’t have the money or resources to give right now.” The fact of the matter is, if you aren’t generous with little, it will be harder for you to be generous with much. Don’t wait to start giving until you have reached your financial goals. Be generous today! When we give back, we have the power to change society.
Philanthropy not only assists in wellbeing, it also has practical benefits.
Giving reduces taxable income, is an asset to public relations and falls under the Law of Reciprocity which states “Give and you shall receive.” Giving allows us to have perspective with money. Giving promotes a healthy relationship with money. It allows us to experience the power of money and all the possibilities that it brings. As important as it is to care for yourself and your loved ones, it is even more important to consider the world around us. How do you plan on being generous this holiday season?
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