Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Giving Matters

In book club this month we read Magnificent Obsesssion, by Lloyd C. Douglas. One of the messages of the book was that giving, serving, and helping others brings you power and ability beyond your own and contributes to your success and even wealth in life.

Emily Flinders was our discussion leader and read excerpts from Why Giving Matters, by Arthur C. Brooks, a noted economist (not LDS), who spoke at a BYU Forum earlier this year. He says, “Acts of charity—giving money, serving others, even donating blood—create a remarkable return, lifting us spiritually and financially.” He then goes on to cite studies that prove this out. Read the whole article; well worth it.

In Matthew 6:1-4, it reads,
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

So volunteer, give to charity or get inspired by others:
USA Today has a website called Kindness: Charity, Philanthropy and Social Responsibility with articles about people who are giving back. It's positive news (imagine that!) about how in uncertain times people volunteer and donate to charities even more.
As the recession deepened, more Americans volunteered their time to churches and other religious charities. Almost four in 10 Americans say they volunteered at a church or other religious organization in the past 12 months, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
Join in. Try some of these ideas...
What are you planning to do to make a difference today?

...and you'll find YOU are happier too:
Doing something nice for someone else helps you be happier.
Do good, feel good.


Illustration: James Steinberg

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