The Joy of Giving

Illustration of hands holding box with hearts in it
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“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.

Cover of the December 2022 issue of The Teenager Today featuring Indian women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur

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Monica Fernandes is a freelance writer from Mumbai for whom writing is a satisfying hobby. She writes for several magazines including The Teenager Today. She has authored a book for teenagers entitled Towards A Fuller Life published by Better Yourself Books.

Monica Fernandes

Monica Fernandes is a freelance writer from Mumbai for whom writing is a satisfying hobby. She writes for several magazines including The Teenager Today. She has authored a book for teenagers entitled Towards A Fuller Life published by Better Yourself Books.