This holiday season, as gift-giving reaches a fever pitch, it helps to keep in mind that generosity is good for us. A study by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara found that generosity is a “high-return cooperative strategy.” As the study concluded, “Human generosity, far from being a thin veneer of cultural conditioning atop a Machiavellian core, may turn out to be a bedrock feature of human nature.”
That doesn’t mean that we should head off to the nearest shopping mall. In fact, a far more applicable (and Shareable) approach to giving is to give gifts from the heart; gifts that have meaning beyond their monetary value.
In her article, "The Psychology Between Gift-Giving and Generosity," Maria Konnikova explains that generosity can make us feel better about ourselves, help us be happier and help us see the world as an overall better place. She uses as an example, O. Henry’s classic short story, "The Gift of the Magi." In the story, Jim and Della, a poor couple rich in love, forsake their most beloved possessions to strenghten their bond. Della sells her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch. Jim sells his watch to buy Della combs for her hair. An unfortunate string of events by economic standards, but a classic model of mindful gift-giving.
One way to exercise your generosity this holiday season is to donate to your favorite nonprofit. Shareable has even suggested a nonprofit donation exchange as an alternative to holiday shopping.
If Shareable is one of your favorite nonprofits, I encourage you to support their crowfunding campaign today. Shareable's biggest supporter, The SHIFT Foundation, has agreed to match reader donations 2-for-1 if we hit our $10,000 goal. That means if Shareable raises $10,000 from readers, SHIFT will donate an extra $20,000!
If Shareable has inspired you or saved you money, please pay it forward by supporting its crowdfunding campaign here. Anything you can donate is appreciated, and Shareable is offering some pretty cool perks.
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