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Research suggests that one of the keys to happiness is the act of helping others. It is known as the “helper’s high.” People who regularly participate in charities have less pain, sleep better, and have a personal sense of reward and fulfillment. Giving leads to a happier life.
The benefits of charity and compassionate acts are powerful and immediate and even spectators are affected by them. A simple act of kindness like a young person giving the seat to an elderly person spreads happiness. People feel like cheering, and the young person feels noble and energized. People who have witnessed a compassionate act also often inspired to perform similar acts. As Amelia Earhart observed, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
On the other hand one can take an act of kindness further and progress into philanthropy. This means the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing "what it is to be human". Like charity it also means giving and volunteering time and other resources, but it differs from charity in that it seeks to solve a problem by tackling the root cause rather than just the immediate need. It takes more time and effort and often involves a one on one connection with the receiver. Philanthropy instills skills, it educates, it seeks to stop abuse, violence, enslavement, and stigma. For many people it is a calling, a cause, a mission and passion to help and make other people’s lives better; secure, healthy, free, happy and living with hope.
Philanthropy is a foundation that when regularly practiced builds relationships and strengthens self-worth. It is a circular action that builds momentum. We give because it makes us feel good. We feel good because we give. “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 E.S.V
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