The Joy of Giving Lasts More Than The Joy of Getting

Joy or happiness is a state of mind. It is a feeling that keeps people healthy and fit.  There is a famous quote ‘The more you give of yourself, the more you find yourself.’ There are many reasons why giving is important. It is a way to show appreciation, to say thank you, or to show someone you care. Sometimes it is hard to express true feelings in words, but offering a token of appreciation will not only represent your feelings, but will allow the recipient to know how much you appreciate them. 

There are many people that we come across in our everyday life that perhaps make our days easier, such as neighbours, co-workers, even mail carriers or the local cashier at the grocery store. While giving does not always have to be a gift, offering a kind word or a friendly smile goes a long way in saying thank you for all you do, and will encourage the chances of a friendly and successful relationship. 

In two studies, psychology researchers Ed O’Brien (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and Samantha Kassirer (Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management) found that participants’ happiness did not decline, or declined much slower, if they repeatedly bestowed gifts on others versus repeatedly receiving those same gifts themselves.

“If you want to sustain happiness over time, past research tells us that we need to take a break from what we’re currently consuming and experience something new. Our research reveals that the kind of thing may matter more than assumed: Repeated giving, even in identical ways to identical others, may continue to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more that we do it,” O’Brien explains.

Giving food to the needy, items of use to a family whose house may have burnt, even monetary donations to a children’s charity can make a huge difference. Giving is an important trait to teach children. For example, if a child helps pick out a gift for a family member who is having a birthday and presents them with this gift, it teaches them to be unselfish, how to share and to appreciate the pleasure of giving to others. Teaching by example is the best way to show a child how to give, not only gifts but in other ways as well. Visiting someone in the hospital, sending a thank you, get-well card or congratulations card, even Christmas cards are excellent ways to teach a child the importance of giving. Time, gifts, cards or words of kindness all are a part of giving. A manager who gives time off, bonuses, or other incentives to his employees for a job well done will definitely reap the joy of giving.  Giving is all about getting or in other words, the more you give, the more you receive.

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.

Kahlil Gibran

Yes, it is a secret barter where we give something that we have and receive happiness without asking for it. However, when we give something, we should not expect anything in return. One should give with all of one’s heart, and forget about it. The funny thing is that we’re most happy when our act of giving has no selfish motives. The dictionary defines giving as “disposing of property by voluntary transfer without receiving value in return.”

Giving and helping people is what everyone should do. Generosity is nothing but the habit of giving. Blessed are those people who are generous and believe in the joy of giving. It’s definitely an act of philanthropy that spreads happiness and peace, and lets goodness prevail in the world!

There is a certain joy in getting something. That’s the joy children experience when they get things like toffees and toys. Parents and grandparents feel happy when they give. The joy in giving is much more fulfilling than the joy of receiving.

Life is a journey, moving from the joy of taking, to the joy of giving. Giving to charity is one aspect of caring and sharing. Nevertheless, we can do that individually too in various ways while we celebrate the joy of giving. When we share something we somehow connect to others in many ways. It’s a God-like trait. ‘Giving’ can make a difference to others and in turn we achieve a sense of empowerment, pride and accomplishment. To conclude, in  the words of Mother Teresa, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

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