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Giving and Happiness

An article that I read in Investment News attributed happiness among seniors to their generosity and indicated that relationships serve as a powerful source of fulfillment and happiness. In our lives money can serve as a useful tool, but money alone cannot buy happiness. Of course you can find temporary joy in a new purchase, a fine dinner, or a great wine, but this joy is fleeting if there is no relationship involved. A great dinner or wine is far more enjoyable when shared with someone you love, and a beautiful house is nothing but a shell if you do not live with loved ones who make it a home.

If it is true that life is all about the mutual love shared between you and those you care about, then it begins to make sense why there is a direct link between giving and joy. To share freely for no reason and with no expectation of reciprocity is an expression of love. As a result, the generous person who gives experiences a joy that is increased by the delight of the recipient.

Nevertheless, the act of giving must be performed wisely. Not all acts of giving stem from kindness, particularly if guilt is used to garner a reciprocal gift. Giving can also enable a person or organization to rely on the generosity of the giver. A charity could be unproductive in its mission or family or friends could enable a dependency. You need to know whether you are financially capable of giving and that requires wisdom. Although it is not necessarily wrong to give in a manner that strains your finances, it is important to determine whether it is an appropriate decision. Therefore, give wisely, to ensure that the joy of giving does not deteriorate into a vicious cycle of dependency for you.

How do we know if we are giving out of love? Use the characteristics of true love as your guide: love is patient and kind, and it is not envious. Love does not brag, nor is it rude, self-serving or easily angered. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in truth.
Giving is part of the path to fulfillment and joy in relationships, and it must always be grounded in love. Using money as a tool, requires wisdom and balance and foremost a heavy dose of love!

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