Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It is often believed that happiness is directly proportional to the amount of stuff we get and accumulate. However, this is a very material and rudimentary way of looking at things. And while this may hold true for a short while, such happiness seldom lasts for long. Generally, the joy one feels right after they have received something begins to die away as soon as that excitement of getting has faded out; some people may associate this with a high threshold of boredom, but this is just how it works with what we call the ‘happiness of things’.
On the other hand, from a materialistic point of view, giving would technically mean having less of something. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. In a material world, most of us are invariably predisposed to amass as much as possible, but the older we grow, the more we realize that ‘stuff’ is not where happiness is found.
What we give does not necessarily have to be money – it could be anything from our time to our support. Sometimes, even a few words of encouragement can do somebody a world of good and brighten up their day. And that is just how giving works – the act of giving matters more than what one gives. In fact, true satisfaction comes from giving what you do not have in abundance. However, probably the best thing about such benevolence is just how contagious it is. You see, when you help someone, you do not just improve their life, but also encourage them to improve the lives of others around them. And that is how meaningful, generous societies are born.
Harriett Jackson Brown Jr. is a celebrated American author and motivational speaker. He is best known for his work Life’s Little Instruction Book. A staunch proponent of charity, Brown Jr. also said the following about the joy of giving: “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”