There is something about giving to others that creates a level of happiness within us. In fact, in this week’s “On the spot” question: “What are a few things that make you really happy?” I was not surprised when a few answered with, “When I help others.”
According to Dr. Thomas Plante, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stanford University, “When [serving others] you have a sense of how much of the world lives (not the Hollywood celebrities and even some of your peers), you have a better perspective on life as well as the hassles and challenges of our lives too. Additionally, you experience more empathy, compassion, and solidarity with others as well.” He also states that serving others creates a resiliency. www.psychologytoday.com
The unfortunate thing about giving your time passionately is that you are also exposed to critics - those who sit on the sidelines pointing out your errors or ways you could be doing it better. I have witnessed this lately, and to be quite frank, I am flabbergasted.
But what moves me the most is that these “givers” feel empathy and compassion to their critic. Not that they don’t experience human emotions and anger in the beginning - but at the end of the day (or perhaps two or three) they reach a level of benevolence that doesn’t hold them back. And they, I assume, go to bed happy.
So, it seems through recent observations of others that what makes you happy also makes you strong. Those who give seem to grow thick skin that can repel some of the hard and dirty boulders thrown their way. I admire that. Kudos to those who serve the greater good; leaving the critics in their dust. If this is you, keep up the good work.