Friday, January 23, 2015

How You Benefit From Generosity by Roz Denny Fox


A friend sent me a flyer recently on improving health and well-being for the new year. I expected it to be news on exercising and eating right. But instead it was all about practicing generosity. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, generous people tended to be happier and healthier than less generous peers.

Small acts of generosity toward a friend or stranger will improve a person’s mood and even prompt them to pay it forward.

Donations in any form contributes to the greater good of your community. You will feel more connected to other people around you when you serve.

You will feel more grateful. Your kind gesture of help or good will make you thankful that you’re able to help. You will be more satisfied with your life.

Believe it or not, it will lower your level of stress to do a good deed. Being generous releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.

When you feel more relaxed it improves your work performance. Altruism on the job improves your relationships with coworkers, boosts your satisfaction with your work, and makes you more committed to your job.

The flyer listed 5 ways to pay generosity forward. Something that struck me when I read the list was by how many of the ways are practiced by the writers I’m fortunate to know.

Mentor Someone—Mentors help guide people along their career paths. You don’t need a fancy title, just be comfortable enough to share your experiences, give advice, or offer an ear to listen.

Share a Skill—You may be a whiz at creating spread sheets, at using social media, or using a new software. You’ll reap rewards in teaching others.

Use Your Skills to Help Others—If you knit well, knit lap robes for the elderly. Make dinner for a sick neighbor. Simply smile at someone who looks stressed in a grocery store, or in line at the post office.

Write a Kind Note to Someone—It doesn’t matter who you write a nice, short note too, but make it genuine. Tell a former teacher how much they impacted your life. Tell an author how much you like their book. Drop off a note for the barista who always has a smile when you get your morning coffee.

Volunteer—Busy people seem to find time to help with local charities. It only takes a few hours a month to show you care.

I like to give books away to people I think may not be able to afford to buy them because they can’t get out to stores and live on fixed incomes. It’s not a big thing, but at area Assisted Living facilities, some residents still love to read a good romance.

Your small acts of generosity will boost the spirits of persons on the receiving end. It will also encourage them to pay it forward. Kindness begets kindness, and won’t that make for a better world?

27 comments:

  1. I believe this advice is true, and that the greater pleasure lies in the giving rather than in the receiving. So many people find their generous spirit only in December during the holidays. Hungry people need to eat all through the year! Thanks for posting this, Roz. We all need a reminder.

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  2. Hi Roz, What a great post. You are so right. What you give out comes back on you. smile And you have always been so generous in mentoring me. Thank you dear friend.

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  3. Thanks for the reminder, Roz. I think romance readers have an instinct for generosity, and you are a terrific example!
    -Vicky (Having a hard time posting this morning. I think I need a mentor!)

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  4. This is a great post, Roz! In the past couple of weeks I have done a couple of things on this list. The feeling you get from helping others is very gratifying.

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  5. Hi Roz!
    What a great post. Being generous certainly raises your happiness levels. You are one of the most selflessly generous people I know.
    Romance novels are all about hope and generosity!
    Have a great weekend

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    1. Thanks all who have posted. I am seriously trying to be a better example and if I made any kind of resolution at the new year it's to try to remember that we never know what kind of day a person we cross paths with has had, and a simple smile may help them.

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  6. Hi Roz!
    What a great post. Being generous certainly raises your happiness levels. You are one of the most selflessly generous people I know.
    Romance novels are all about hope and generosity!
    Have a great weekend

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  7. Fantastic post and I'm a very, very firm believer in this! Sharing leads to caring all the way around. Big hug, Roz for reminding us all.

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  8. Roz, very well said! I really believe it's all true and essential for happiness in life. As a newbie author I can personally attest to the generosity of fellow authors who have been so incredibly generous with their sharing their time, advice, and knowledge with me! I am truly grateful.

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  9. What a wonderful post, Roz! I am always amazed at how strangers react when you give them a compliment. It's such a small gesture but I've seen it brighten people's days.

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  10. Beautiful post, Roz! And such wonderful ideas. It's all about Karma--and while she can be cruel at times, the rewards can be exponential. Thank you for sharing. :)

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  11. Thanks, Roz, for a great way to begin my day. I've often been on the receiving end of the kindness of friends and neighbors and know what a difference it makes in challenging times. Trying to pay it back to others always reminds me of how wonderful I felt when I was the beneficiary. You always come up with the best stuff!

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  12. Roz, you would be the one to know about this since you're the most generous person I know. Great post!

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  13. This is a lovely post, Roz. Sometimes we just keep our heads down and feet moving forward without realizing it doesn't take much to make a difference. Look up!

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  14. I just had a chance to practice this. I went grocery shopping--had a whole cart full. A really elderly lady stepped in line behind me with only two items. I asked her to go in front of me. You would have thought I gave her the moon. She told the checker what a nice thing I did--which embarrassed me. But the checker said you'd be surprised how many people would have let her stand behind a whole pot load of groceries being checked out. So now two of us feel better today, especially since I don't relish going to the grocery store.

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  15. A great post, Roz, and a great reminder to us all.

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  16. Wonderful post, Roz. And so very true. A smile is something it's easy to share.

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    1. Gin! Hi! Guys - Ginger and I wrote for American together and were part of many special projects series. Introduce yourself, Ginger! (Or did I somehow miss that?)

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  17. Muriel, you and Ginger remind me a lot of each other. Big hearts, big smiles, big talents.

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  18. Totally I so agree, Roz. Right after my husband died, I volunteered at a local senior center and a lot of days I would go in, down and out, but by the time I walked around and talked to the people there and smiled, and told jokes, I was the one who benefited the most.

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  19. Totally I so agree...that's not what I meant to write

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  21. It costs nothing to spread good will and positive energy all around. Great post, Roz, and thank you for the reminder!

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  22. The most generous thing I've ever seen: Last summer, the grandson of the guy in charge of my building renovation got a cut at a swimming pool that turned into sepsis that shut down his kidneys and meant amputations. They put up a medical GoFundMe with an original goal of $25K. Hundreds and hundreds of people, mostly people they didn't know, contributed. Lots of $10 and $25 anonymous donations that helped them get to $108K.

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  23. Patricia, those kinds of selfless acts are truly what generosity is all about. Thanks for adding this story.

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  24. What a lovely post. Acts of kindness seem to be so rare now. I hate grocery shopping so before I enter the store I remind myself to be nice. LOL! And I would be!!! For about eight years I wrote a weekly column for RI's only major paper that featured a shelter animal up for adoption. By far the most fun I've ever had writing! Thank you for such a great post.

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  25. Great post, Roz, and so true. Doing something kind/generous for someone else really does change your body chemistry. It's an incredible feeling and more generous acts are just what our world needs.

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