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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Be Generous

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 12th 2013

hands heartWe’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? 

  1. 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? 

  2. Could you provide a smile a bit more often to the people you interact with from day to day? 

  3. 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. 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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