Thursday, October 09, 2008

Spending for Happiness

The Bible says that it is better to give than to receive. It's not a very popular message this day and age, but a recent study reveals it to be so. Spending money can buy happiness, but there is one catch. It seems you have to spend the money on others to achieve the joy. According to the University of British Columbia's Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D., we are significantly happier when we spend pro-socially --- on gifts or charity. Her conclusion comes from the result of a survey of over 600 Americans from all income levels. Even when volunteers were given $5.00 to spend on either themselves or on others, sharing gleaned the most joy. According to Dr. Dunn, the good feeling that results lasts for six to eight weeks longer than the happiness that comes from a vacation. I don't know about you, but I find that shopping for others is much more fun for me than shopping for myself! I found this study most interesting and a real confirmation of that for me. Is it the same for you?


  1. Anonymous11:55 PM

    Hello, I've been to your blog for while now and never leave comments because I dont have a blog of my own and some people seem to not like that.A blog is however "public" unless it is password invitation only,and u did ask so I will feel free to comment.I agree with you on giving producing joy, but I found in my own personal life with Our Lord that "receiving" is the hardest thing to do due to our pride.We feel somehow better about ourselves as providers and not being people who are deficient so that we would have to accept charity or even salvation.

  2. I'm so glad you felt free to comment, Anonymous. I wish you had left your name so I could feel more personable in my response to you -- but you can substitute your real name for the Anonymous one I used here. :) I appreciate your comment regarding giving and pride. Yes, it is true that sometimes we give because it makes one feel important --- prideful. But fortunately there are many who quietly give from their hearts and thereby receive the blessing of joy that is available to those who choose to serve in this way. It's all a matter of the heart, isn't it --- both in the giving and in the receiving! Thank you for the reminder!

  3. I do agree.

    Oh dear, your sweet anonymous poster is giving me second thoughts about what happened in my blog this morning. Some anonymous poster left me not one, but ten comments. And not comments, but drawings of a dinosaur. Now one would have been cute, but ten? Not so much. So I just switched my settings to not allow anonymous comments. Ackkk, another dilemma! :D

    Thanks for sharing this piece of research with us. I'm sure that it is completely the case and, further, I don't think that a lot of money has to be spent to enjoy giving or receiving a gift.

  4. Ah. . good old UBC. I do agree with this study. .I've learned it proves true. .the older I get. .the more giving seems to bring joy. We just love to shower the ones we love with gifts. . and as it gets closer to the Christmas Shoeboxes to send overseas. . .I start to think about the smiles it will bring those children. . I'll fill a few more boxes this year in honour of our wee ones.

  5. Those study results are fascinating...thanks for sharing.

  6. Anonymous5:13 PM

    What a great post! While I love to shop for myself, I agree that shopping for others, no matter how big or small the gift, leaves me elated for days even months thereafter. Sometimes, just thinking about the moment the gift was given still warms my heart. The scripture is so very accurate - but then of course it is as it comes from the Master.

  7. I quite agree with this report - I know its true for it is such pleasure to find something that will be a treasure for another, to meet a need, to leave a little 'happy' for them, to bless them, etc. It is one of lifes joys.


  8. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Gracious, I was "annonymouse" at the very top.My email is since I dont have a blog.
    You made terrific point in your response to me. Giving, or Receiving, are after all just words with no real actual meaning if there is not a "heart" a person involved in the producing of either one.So, the point was not to separate ourselves from those words or thoughts or actions. Appart from us neither one can be actualized, thank you for that, also it reminds me that indeed ,no one but God knows our intent with either one of those options.I got a lot from your post:)

  9. I so agree, maybe that is why I like doing is a way of being a blessing to someone...
    We just returned home from the Tri-Cities...thought of you...


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