A Chinese proverb goes something like this: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
“The “giving moments” make you realize that you are actually making a change, that change which the world needs. True satisfaction is never fully reached when it comes from material things that only temporarily satisfy our more or less vanity or need to show off.”
It probably goes without saying that an afternoon nap is sometimes the most satisfying thing one can hope for. However, philosophers, psychologists and scientists altogether have tried, throughout time, to understand the mechanisms of the human psyche that help in achieving the most sought-after prize: happiness. Many of them have reached the conclusion that becoming a giver – a person that sets aside personal needs and tends to the needs of others, is the only true way.
Anyone who has ever made the simplest act of kindness can remember the rewarding sensation it offered. Giving brings forth exactly what a person needs in order to feel fulfilled, happy – purpose. When giving, your purpose is noble, gratifying, you are making the world a better place through that helping hand you are offering, through moral or financial support, through the shoulder you are lending to be cried on, through the time and effort you are putting in a cause that will certainly make a difference in at least one person’s life.
The “giving moments” make you realize that you are actually making a change, that change which the world needs. True satisfaction is never fully reached when it comes from material things that only temporarily satisfy our more or less vanity or need to show off. People often tend be competitive when it comes to material wealth as if constantly forgetting that objects could never help you attain the elevated state of consciousness that happiness is.
It is very unsurprising to hear about rich people that seem to experience a general ill-being and desolation even though their mansions, immense estates, luxury vehicles, yachts and exotic pets would leave the impression of being able to comfort them just fine. Sure, the crystal chandeliers, the army of servants, custom made clothing and tuxedo parties will please your sight, tickle your fancy and pamper your ego, but eating from a silver spoon just might get really old, really fast, if other fundamental needs are not addressed as well.
“Sure, the crystal chandeliers, the army of servants, custom made clothing and tuxedo parties will please your sight, tickle your fancy and pamper your ego, but eating from a silver spoon just might get really old, really fast, if other fundamental needs are not addressed as well.”
Attention has been brought to several stories regarding various business men, high-end company owners or millionaire inheritors who have “given it all up” for the sake of others. They became philanthropists after realizing that spiritual gain and growth does not come from luxury. For instance, a thousand dollars silk scarf can be transformed into one hundred blankets for those without a roof over their heads, a sports car into large quantities of food that could feed a small village, while a pair of diamond earrings could cover the medical expenses of a modest family that is trying to save its only child.
Giving does not have to be understood as a great sacrifice, the smallest gesture counts. It is an act of kindness that will benefit you and others alike. The only thing you are “sacrificing” is your time and energy, but what you will be receiving in return will be well worth it.
It gradually tears down the illusion of being alone and disconnected from the world. It all comes back in the form of providing an unassuming example for others to do the same, it provides people with a sense of togetherness, of being cared for, of being understood and reached out to.
Written by R.F.I.