“God loves a cheerful giver,” writes St Paul in The Bible. A few years ago, a Gallup poll was conducted across 136 countries with 2,00,000 respondents, to correlate happiness with donating. It was found that as many as 90% respondents found happiness in donating.
Another study saw that donating to charity left the same effect in terms of happiness as doubling of one’s household income. For instance, if you earned Rs 25,000 and donated part of it to charity, you would be as happy as someone who earned Rs 50,000 and did not donate. Even giving anonymously makes us happy. Prof. Raj Ragunathan talks of two-year-old kids who were given goldfish crackers. A toy monkey was placed near these children. Most of them tried to give one cracker to the monkey. He concluded that human beings are hardwired to kindness.
Why does giving make us happy? The Dalai Lama wisely said, “It takes giving to be happy”. One reason is that we want to make a difference.