We often hear that giving is better than receiving – that the one who gives to another usually ends up receiving more than the one being gifted. While I’ve often known this to be true, I recently had an experience that confirmed just how powerful the act of giving is.
Earlier this month, I was invited to speak to children at the Amazing Creations Early Childhood Education Center in Bluffton. I’ve always been a bit hesitant around children, so when I had 60 kids between the ages of 6-12 looking up at me, waiting for me to speak, I was a bit nervous!
Much to my surprise, however, the children ended up surrounding and hugging me after I spoke to them about what it means to have a disability, reminding them that it’s ok to be different because we’re all made to be unique individuals. They even ended up helping me build a gift basket and asked me to come back with Trapper the Wonder Dog!
It was such a rewarding experience and got me thinking about why giving to others, even in small ways, is so important. Below are a few of the reasons that I’ve come up with, hoping they might encourage others to engage in the act of giving:
1. Giving increases happiness (and health!)
It’s tempting to assume that if we do things to help ourselves, we’ll end up being happier and more content. However, it’s the opposite that tends to be true. Even science confirms that giving can increase your quality of life and result in more lasting happiness.
2. Giving fosters human connection
Giving to others is a way of forging a bond with someone, something that is so essential to a healthy and happy life – particularly in our digitally connected world. When we give to someone, we are reminded of our shared humanity and the difference we can make in a single person’s life.
3. Giving inspires more giving
Perhaps most importantly, giving encourages a chain reaction of more giving. When we see other people give – whether to us or someone else – we are often inspired to give as well.
While these are only a few reasons why I think giving is so important and better than receiving, I think one of the greatest things about giving is that we don’t even need a reason to give. We can give just to give, and the impact will undoubtedly follow. Life is a gift!
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