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Give or Receive?

January 22, 2019

A recent psychological study confirms that which we all have heard so many times.

“it is better to give than receive”

96 college student participants were given $5 each day for five days.  They were to spend it on something identical each of the five days.  Some of the students, randomly selected, were told to spend it on themselves and some on others.  Over the time of the study the participants happiness was measured through self-reporting, beginning just before the study began..  Those that gave to others became happier.  Those that spent it on themselves, not only didn’t become happier, their happiness decreased.

Let this serve as another reminder, that true and lasting happiness doesn’t come from getting things.  So, whenever you’re feeling down, the cure is reaching out and giving to another or the giving of yourself to another.

Of course that approach might mean you’re giving with an ulterior motive.  Even if that’s the case, it’s still a good start.  Practicing giving regularly, will eventually lead to doing it automatically, with no ulterior motive.  Then you will be following Maimonides advice

“do what is right because it is right”

Imagine a world where more and more people took that advice.  As young people today would say “how cool would that be”?

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” – Marlo Thomas

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” – Douglas A. Lawson

“To give and then not feel as one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.” – Max Beerbom


Heart and Soul



5 Comments leave one →
  1. Beni permalink
    January 22, 2019 12:00 pm

    Thank you. Although both of us don’t need a study to realize the benefits to the giver as swell as the receiver, reality is that some need a self-centered incentive.

  2. January 22, 2019 9:22 am

    Fred, thanks for this and thanks for your friends thoughts as well.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      January 22, 2019 9:35 am

      Thank you you are also my friend

  3. Jocko permalink
    January 22, 2019 7:09 am

    Thanks, Fred. Seems so true and obvious…and yet I often find myself obsessed with getting the next new thing–a bike, new shoes, an exotic vacation. They never end up as sparkly as I thought they’d be.

    Maybe I need to balance the time I spend in the bike shop with some time listening to someone who’s hurting.

    Thanks for the reminder. I wouldn’t have thought of Marlo Thomas as a Guru (me as Mr. know-it-all), but that’s a quote I’ll paste up somewhere: “The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.”

    Glad you’re getting stuff back up on this screen. It really is helpful.

    Uncle Jock

    • Fred Fox permalink
      January 22, 2019 7:14 am

      Well said Jocko
      Marlo isn’t the guru it was her Father Danny

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