H.S. For Saturday 032208
Better to Give Than Receive Confirmed
You know this is true. If you have ever done it that is. It really does make you feel better to give, than it does when you receive. The Bible talks about this often and I can tell you first hand it is true. But now it looks like Science has once again caught up to the Word Of God.
According to the AP - Science, Bible agree: Giving is better, By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Thu Mar 20, 6:49 PM ET
The Bible counsels misers that it's better to give than to receive. Science agrees. People who made gifts to others or to charities reported they were happier than folks who didn't share, according to a report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
While previous studies have shown that having more money can increase happiness, the researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University wondered if the way people spent their money made any difference.
Turns out, it does.
Lead researcher Elizabeth W. Dunn, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, said she wasn't surprised that doing something for others made people happy.
But she was struck by how big the effect was and that how people spent money was more important than how much money they had.
"This work suggests that even making small alterations in how we spend money on a daily basis can make a difference in happiness," Dunn said in a telephone interview.
"That doesn't mean go get a high paying job so you can spend tons of money on others. The message is, given what you have, how can you make little alterations to do something for others," she said.
And, she added, "there's nothing special about money," giving can involve time or special skills to help other people.
The report didn't surprise Sue Citro, senior digital membership manager for the Nature Conservancy:
"We do hear from our members and our supporters that the do get a real feeling of satisfaction from knowing their giving is doing good," she said.
Andrea Koslow, director of advertising at the American Red Cross, said: "The act of helping has its own profound effect."
"People need a humanitarian outlet ... feeling that they make a difference ... that's very motivating," Koslow said.
The good feeling associated with giving is why workplace charity opportunities can engage employees and lift morale, added Kristine Templin, director of corporate partnerships at the American Red Cross.
STOP! OK, I understand that this is by the Red Cross Advertising Director, but this is NOT the same thing. More on that in a second.
The researchers started by asking a sample of 632 Americans, 55 percent of whom were women, to rate their happiness on a scale of 1 to 5, the higher the number the happier.
Then they asked the participants to report their annual income and estimate how much they spent on paying bills, buying gifts for themselves, buying gifts for others and giving to charity.
The first two were considered personal spending and averaged $1,714-a-month, the second two were termed "prosocial" spending and averaged $146-a-month.
"Personal spending was unrelated to happiness," said the researchers. "But higher prosocial spending was associated with significantly greater happiness," they found.
Not content with that, they then studied 16 employees of a company in Boston, asking about their happiness one month before and six to eight weeks after each received a profit-sharing bonus from their employer.
In the second interview they also asked about personal and prosocial spending and once again those who spent more on others were happier.
"The manner in which they spent that bonus was a more important predictor of their happiness than the amount of the bonus itself," the researchers found.
Finally, 46 Canadian students were asked to rate their happiness and then each was given a random envelope containing money, ranging from $5 to $20. Some were instructed to spend it on themselves, others were told to buy a gift for someone else.
At 5 p.m. that day, they were called together again and asked to rate their happiness.
The amount of money had no impact on happiness, but those assigned to buy something for another person reported greater happiness than those told to get something for themselves, the researchers said.
A separate study published in 2006 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the same parts of the brain that produce the good feeling when a person receives a reward also respond when they give to someone else.
Indeed, researchers led by Jordan Grafman at the National Institutes of Health found the reward areas were more active when giving a gift than when receiving one.
Well, well, well, The Word was right again. I love when Science catches up. Do not worry, I'm not going to get preachy here. But I did what to talk about that one point tat the Director of the Red Cross Advertising made.
I have been employed by a couple companies that did participate in the whole auto deductions for charity thing. In other words, someone comes in and talks to the employees and they agree to have money withdrawn and given automatically to the cause they chose. What does that mean? Yes, you are giving. Yes, you can feel good about it, but it is not even worthy to be compared to the feeling you get, when YOU actually give.
Try this. Find out where your nearest Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen is in your area. Go there. Check it out. I mean, REALLY check it out. Watch the people come and go. If you have time, ask to volunteer for a day. Or just ask them what they do their. Then, go to the bank. Withdraw some cash, or write a check. It can be any amount you feel comfortable to give. Then watch what happens.
I have done this. I have also given money to bums on the street. I have given gifts to people that least expected it. You really cannot describe the feeling you get when you see their face light up. When you receive the hug. In some cases kiss. When you KNOW at THAT moment, just how much you have just effected them in a positive way. Sorry, I just do not see that as the same as an auto withdraw of money you never see.
But anyway you do it, DO IT. You will find that BOTH the Bible and Science are correct.
AP- Science, Bible agree: Giving is better
AFP - Money can in fact buy happiness, if it's spent on others: study