Back in March of 2013, I ran a two-part article on the subject of why giving makes us feel good by positive psychologist and director of The Happiness Enhancement Group, Greg Evans, PhD.
Greg was a wonderful resource for me as I did research for my upcoming book, Simple Giving. In fact, there is an entire chapter on the psychology of giving in the book.
I thought now would be a good time to revisit his enlightened two-part guest post.
The first post addresses selfishness and Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory.
From Why Giving Feels Good (part one) by Greg Evans, PhD:
A common misinterpretation of Darwin’s survival of the fit is that all creatures big and small are meant only to compete with one another. But there are many examples in nature of the benefits of giving. Often the best way to look out for ourselves is by giving to others—it’s not exactly pure altruism, but a sort of enlightened selfishness.
The second post addresses the difference between productive and unproductive givers.
From Why Giving Feels Good (part two) by Greg Evans, PhD:
Grant suggests that people do not burn out because of more work, they burn out primarily because they cannot see how their contributions have made any difference. So successful givers do not just go through the motions, they go the extra mile, in doing so they also feel less burnt out by their efforts. Successful givers also do not get taken to the cleaners, while giving freely to other givers and being cautious of takers.
I hope you will take some time to read these posts. They are filled with insight as to why giving makes us happier human beings.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.