January 12 2023
All of us enjoy receiving gifts, especially when it is not expected. We all can relate to the element of surprise and the thrill of receiving something new. But how long does this feeling last, a day or two before the gift gets consumed, put into the drawer or cupboard along with some other pile of gifts previously received, or kept aside to be used later on? The Joy is short-lived.
“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give”.
Ben Carson (an American neurosurgeon and politician) and many others have pointed out that honest Joy, the Joy that lasts longer, comes not from receiving but from giving. Joy multiplies when it is shared. With the cost of living ever increasing and everything becoming so competitive today, the sad reality is that even our children have learned to do things only if they receive something in return. Without lives becoming so materialistic, somewhere down the line, we are losing out humanity, the essence of who we are.
Our ability to feel and emphasize makes us different from machines or robots, and we need to preserve this quality and teach it to our children before it gets too late. We need to teach them that when we give wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return, we will experience faithful Joy and happiness that will not only last a lot longer but will fill us with true happiness; hence it is rightly called 'the Joy of Giving.'
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Research has repeatedly proven that the brain releases happy hormones or endorphins when we are so glad. And these neurochemicals are good for our mental health, which in turn is good for our well-being (click here to read more on activities to boost mental health).
Once we experience the Joy of giving without expecting anything in return, it changes who we are. There is no turning back. The Joy of helping others gives our lives a sense of purpose and meaning while evoking a feeling of gratitude toward the ones we allow. It is a strange, contradictory, and profoundly complex feeling to be happy that you can help someone and so immensely grateful to that person for allowing you to help them. It doesn't have to be big and expensive gestures. Even small acts of kindness can give you this feeling.
Starting small is the best way to begin and teach your child the benefits of charity and kindness. There are numerous ways to teach our children to be generous and experience the non-material joys of life. Start by encouraging your child to share the toy they no longer need with a child less fortunate than them, maybe even cooking a simple meal with your child's help and then sharing it with someone less fortunate. Sharing doesn't come quickly for children when suddenly their long-forgotten toy becomes their new favorite toy just when you're about to give it away. Keep at it. Children who learn to share and give from a young age are happier, more confident, and more grateful as adults who even appreciate the little things in life. (click here to read more on tips to increase concentration levels in kids )
The Joy of helping people out takes time for children, so be patient and start small, and as you gradually build up, the children will get the hang of it. Try some of these ways to begging your child's journey-
Other than the prominent Joy we get from helping others, being a part of the Joy of Giving movement has several benefits.
Many Centers, like Eurokids, have adopted this movement and have made the 'Joy of giving" an annual event in their centers, with parents and children all getting actively involved in the process, thus bringing home the fact that there is never an early moment to teach your kids about the joys of helping others and improving the circumstances of those who are less fortunate than us. Click here, if you'd like to join one of our centers and be a part of this fantastic feel-good movement.