The anticipation is nearly killing them. My kids, still young in the world, just can’t wait until they can open the gifts under the tree. It makes me wonder when in life we start to cherish giving and the tangible benefits this simple act bestows.
Thanks to a recent New York Times piece, “In Month of Giving, A Healthy Reward,” by Tara Parker-Pope, whose Well columns have this year has become some of my favorite Google Reader picks, I know a lot more about the gifts of giving. During this season, it’s important to be mindful of those rewards.
There are real reasons we feel good giving people gifts, whether they’re gifts of time, talent or a treasured trinket. It’s particularly interesting that scientific studies confirm that giving is, indeed, good for you.
Quoted in the piece, Stephen Post, who wrote “Why Good Things Happen to Good People” says that giving and helping provides benefits that last years.
“It turns out that giving — far more than receiving — is a surprisingly potent force whose impact reverberates across an entire lifetime, nourishing health and happiness in astonishing ways.”
Post directs the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University, which has compiled evidence of the good of giving in 50 studies.
So, as we near the end of the year – the end of the decade, in fact – and thoughts turn toward incremental ways you can change your daily life for greater happiness, health and good, keep in mind the power behind a simple Thank You and other little ways to include giving in your daily life. You could be the greatest benefactor.
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