The Joy of Giving

ben affleckI recently saw an interview with Academy Award winning writer and producer Ben Affleck (he co-wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting and co-produced Argo). During the interview, Affleck talked about an initiative he is involved in Congo, Africa. This initiative is intended to create economic growth in this war torn country in order to end the suffering Congoians have long been enduring. Affleck said that he created the initiative because he doesn’t want to go through life taking more than he is giving, common amongst Hollywood celebrities. He said he wants to give more than he takes. Very admirable indeed!

We live in a society often characterized by an attitude of entitlement. It’s all about me and what the world can do for me. Our planet could benefit from a reversal of this attitude. In fact, our survival depends on it. This is not hyperbole or dramatization. This is reality!

Our take, take, take way of living is destroying the planet. We’re creating too much garbage, too much pollution and too much suffering.

Imagine what our world look like if we started giving more than we’re taking. If we started giving jobs to people, kindness and compassion to each other, equal opportunity, camaraderie and peace! Imagine if we all gave simple hugs, waves and smiles to friends and strangers alike. What an awesome world it would be!

I recall what John F. Kennedy said during his inaugural speech in 1961, ” Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country!” Perhaps we can all say, “Ask not what can I take from this life, but rather, what can I give back to this life.”

There is a benefit in this more altruistic approach and that is, when you give, you feel good about yourself, and nothing is more important for your health and happiness than how you feel about yourself! And there’s another benefit.  When you give from a loving place, the universe lovingly gives back, so you really don’t have to make any special effort to take, for what you want will be given.

Have an awesomely giving day!


4 comments on “The Joy of Giving

    • Thank you for this Alex. I agree, empathy is really important for people who are struggling with a health condition, particularly a progressive one like Parkinson’s. Research has shown that happiness is a critical part of the healing process and family support and friendship is an important part of happiness.


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