The Gift of Giving

Why do we do things for other people? What’s the point in giving? What do we get out of it?

According to studies in neuroscience, co-operative behavior activates the reward areas of the brain, suggesting that we are hard wired to enjoy helping one another. People who are actively involved in their community report higher well-being and their help encourages knock-on effects for others.

You know that feeling you get when someone unwraps a present you’ve put lots of thought into? Or that feeling you get when you hand a beggar some change and they look up at you with a gleam of thank you in their eyes? That’s what I’m talking about. Surely it’s not just me that feels that sense of joy and pride?

Recently, I was stopped abruptly when I heard a woman screaming, “Stop him!” My first thought was “Oh Sh*#! What did I do?!” then I realized “duh, you’re not a man” lol. Looking around, I see this distressed woman frantically running up the road, “He took my phone! Stop him!” She screamed. Finally, I realized what was happening, as I saw a large, scruffy looking man casually strutting down the road. Realising that no one else was doing anything to help, instinct kicked in and I approached the man, hoping like hell he wouldn’t hit me.

I asked if he took the phone, of course he said no. After some back and forth, and realizing he was guilty, I phoned the police. When he knew he wasn’t getting away, he gave up the phone and ran. I doubt the police have caught him, unfortunately. But this woman got her phone back safely and that’s what mattered. To some, you’re probably thinking, it’s just a phone. To this woman, as she pointed out, this phone contained everything that was important to her.

She wanted to reward me for the help, which I declined. Her thanks and seeing her safe and happy was more than enough. It was after this when I went to post about what happened online, I thought, why? I’m happy with the outcome. There are countless things other people do each day that deserve praise and reward too.

I’ve started noticing more the joy of giving and helping others. Although this is an extreme example, there are many examples of ways you can give and help others. Such as buying a coffee for a colleague, donating goods to charity, or simply lending an ear when in need. I try to make more of an effort now to help others and every time I do, the results are always ten times better than expected! Believe in good.

What are some of the ways that you help others around you? I’d love to hear about them! Please share in the comments below. Your acts of giving might inspire others to do the same.

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