For many of us this time of year brings the opportunity to help others. I am a true believer that when we give our time, talent or treasure to others we truly receive one of the greatest blessings in life. Giving back or helping those in need is what connects us to others and makes us happy and studies are proving this to be the case. It is truly what living is meant to be.
In just a few short days I will be celebrating my 4 year SparkVersary which means I have spent countless hours perusing the message boards. Over the course of four years I have seen complete strangers reach out to help others and what an amazing event it is to witness. Friendships are made and solidified as our members connect. And who can better to relate to our situation than others who have walked in similar shoes.
This past weekend I had the pleasure to participate in the White Rock Marathon Relay in Dallas with a handful of my high school classmates from 30 years ago. I had the last leg of the relay which meant waiting well over 3 hours after the race began for my turn to run. Fortunately, we had shuttle buses available to take us to our prospective baton exchange point. While sitting on the bus with other relay runners, I had the pleasure of chatting with four women. I was talking with a woman from New Mexico who was wearing a Team Lizzie shirt. She proceeded to tell me she was running for a foundation based out of Kearney, Nebraska--TEAM LIZZIE-- in honor of Lizzie Stratton a 14 year young lady who succumbed to a rare form of liver cancer in 2007. She spoke with such passion for this cause it actually made me wish I had a cause to run for.
In just a few short minutes there was a connection. And this woman was not alone in her quest to run to help others. There were teams running for Team in Training, Team Owen and many other great charities. It was so touching to see people running for a cause, other than just to finish a marathon, half-marathon or marathon relay that it has inspired me to find a charity for next year.
So how can we find happiness this holiday season?
Well, studies have confirmed that when we give money to help others, no matter how big or small the amount that we give, it makes us happy. So if you think dropping some spare change in the Salvation Army kettle doesn't matter, think again. Or reaching out to others in need on the message boards doesn't matter, think again. For many of us doing just a small deed to help others can make us happy and makes us feel good about ourselves. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than to find happiness in helping others. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!. May the gift of giving journey well beyond the holiday season.
Have you found that giving to others makes you happy? Have you discovered that your whole mood shifts just by offering a kind word or gesture to someone else?