Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happiness and Giving


Ann took a class on happiness at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning this fall. Here are some notes on the findings she shared with me.

Giving makes you happy and healthy. People who give of their time, money and talents are happier than those who give little or nothing.

People who get a bonus at work have been studied. Those who gave the bonuses away were happier than those who spent the bonus money on themselves.

People who hoard money and are cheap do not know they will be happier if they have generous hearts and give some of their money away. People think they will be happier if they spend money on themselves. They do not believe the evidence that indicates people who give money away are happier.

One experiment was that one group of people were sent a letter asking them to give blood. 93% of the recipients of the letter gave blood. Another group of people were asked to give blood for a $20.00 reward. Only 70% of that group responded to the request.

One year, Individuals in America gave $260 Billion to charities.

There are 65 million volunteers in the U.S.

Why are people altruistic? The research indicates that individuals think if they give, the group will be happy.

People only give when they are asked.

Having money beyond the basics of food and shelter does not make people happier.

Generosity is beginning of spiritual awakening. Buddha based his religious teaching on Generosity.

I will add:

Jews have a basic religious teaching to welcome the stranger.

Jesus’ teaching is to care for the poor, widows, orphan and the sick.

Letting go, giving up and generosity make you happy.


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