The Secret to Happiness [Citizenship Day 3]

April 16, 2014 by John Andrew Williams

Today’s Thought: The Secret to Happiness is Serving Others

Who benefits more from volunteering?*

a. The person receiving the services

b. The volunteer

*Hint: It’s NOT a.

Turns out being altruistic leads to a big boost in happiness.

The wisdom about the benefits of being altruistic have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Nearly every wisdom and religious tradition has some version of the golden rule:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Given the basic knowledge why do only 1 in 4 people actually volunteer?**

Common answers:

– I don’t know where to volunteer.– I don’t have time.– I don’t care enough.– I don’t want to.– I don’t think I can make a difference.– It’s hard.

What I do know for sure: driving back from Parkrose High School, when I work with those students for a few hours each week, I feel so alive and full of hope for the future.

It’s a priceless feeling bought with only two hours a week.

What’s stopping you?

* Source: http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/altruism/altruism-happiness and Sonja Lyumbomirsky http://thehowofhappiness.com/

** Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm

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