We’ve known for a long time now that our brain is wired to react more to negative things in life than positive things in life. From an evolutionary perspective it’s better to just survive and procreate than to be happy and not. One ensures survival of the species, while the other doesn’t. So it’s not surprising that being generous isn’t a default state of our brain. But it is a core natural piece of our mental health.
Hilde Back was the daughter of Holocaust survivors and felt a tugging need to be generous and help others who were suffering. She decided to reach out to a young Kenyan student named Chris Mburu, sending him a few kronor (Swedish currency) into an envelope every month to help support his education.
This act of generosity changed Chris’ life forever.
He loved education and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and became a human rights lawyer for the United Nations. He then went on to create the Hilde Back Education fund to offer rural Kenyan children a life of possibility.
The generosity of Hilde caused ripple effects across more lives than she could have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”
This blog is all about offering things that are practical, accessible and you can do right now.
Consider right now, what can you be generous with?
- Could you carry some petty cash with you and help out people you see who are in need? If you don’t want to give money, could you buy them some food?
- Could you provide a smile a bit more often to the people you interact with from day to day?
- What about being more intentional about deeply listening to another person with your heart and mind?
The best way to prime your mind toward generosity is to practice asking “How can I give?”
If you like, share your thoughts on how you give or ideas for giving in the section below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.