The More You Give the More You Get

Have you noticed how some people seem to have naturally joyful hearts?

Perhaps you are one of them; or perhaps you would like to be.

They may not be well-off or even have easy lives.                                

Sometimes, they may even be surrounded by hardships.

Freedom from trouble has nothing to do with it, because the source isn’t pleasure, as sweet as that can be. 

So, where does it come from? 

Usually these people were either born or learned to become givers. 

They enjoy being helpful, making other people’s days better, and it makes them smile to get the chance. 

They do not impose their help on others, but pay attention to the cues and opportunities to show up helpfully. 

This is clearly laudable, but what is the connection to joy?

First, our brains include a special switch that turns on  brain-body surge of happiness when we express caring toward others. 

Most parents and pet-owners are familiar with this already, but there’s more.

It turns out that those who seek to contribute themselves to others can receive a special gift:  gratitude.

By this, I am not referring to the gratitude of others, although that’s nice too.

Rather, there is a profound connection between giving to others and inner gratitude.

The connection of gratitude to giving is as follows:

Gratitude makes giving possible, bringing the confidence that there’s enough of yourself to give away.

Giving to others makes gratitude obvious, that is, if you gratefully notice who you are and what you have to give. 

Is this too simple – what about the good-natured, giving people who seem to lack joyfulness?

One pitfall is self-martyrdom:  giving to others not so much for them but to ingratiate them.

We commonly call that a “guilt trip.”

Another pitfall is self-sacrifice:  depriving from others the opportunity to give back.

Part of being a joyful giver is saying “Yes, thank you,” when others want to make us happy. 

Directed these ways, being an active giver is a self-renewing fountain of joy.

It brings no guarantee of an easy life, but does provide a psychological life-preserver.

It results in resilient joy:  the innate ability to bounce back from the downswings of life and the wise perspective not to get carried away by the upswings.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 at 8:16 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “The More You Give the More You Get”

  1. Judy Says:

    This was wonderful, very pithy—thank you Dr. Rick! I wanted to read the lines twice, slowly, so I could relate them to what I know to be true with my experience. I particularly enjoyed the line, “being an active giver is a self-renewing fountain of joy.”

  2. Says:

    Thanks so much. I’m glad it was meaningful to you and I appreciate your writing to tell me!

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