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Feel Good by Doing Good

Recently, I came home from a day of helping less mobile elders with household tasks and shopping, and as I was cooking dinner, my husband asked why I was humming so happily.  I didn’t even realize I was humming, and nothing particularly important or special was going on in my life. After a moment of thought, I realized that I was feeling so good because I had done something good for someone who needed my help. 

There’s just something especially rewarding about freely giving our energy and time to help others without expecting anything back.  The truth is that we really do get something back, because giving of ourselves to help make a difference in someone else’s life rewards us with a depth of joy and satisfaction that is hard to find in leisure pursuits.

I see the spirit of volunteerism on the internet and in the news all the time. During disasters like the recent massive destruction caused by tornados and floods across the US and the terrifying fires that have scorched California over the last few years, how many times have we seen video footage of people who have stepped up to help total strangers, sometimes putting their own lives at risk?

Of course, we don’t have to wait around for a fire or a flood and risk our lives to help others. There are so many in need right here in our own neighborhoods and communities, and there are lots of ways you can be of service. Maybe you could help out at a homeless shelter, teach someone to read, assist at your nearby school, volunteer at the local hospice, mentor an at-risk child, or bring meals to shut-ins, just to name a few.

If you are already a volunteer, good for you, and great for those you are helping with your time and love. If you’re not volunteering yet, I hope you’ll feel encouraged to find your own special way to contribute to your neighborhood and community. All you need is some spare time, an open mind and the awareness of how important what you do can be for those you help.

Maybe you’ll want to find ways to include children and grandchildren in your volunteer efforts. Getting your grandkids involved in safe and fun forms of volunteering, like planting trees in the park or cleaning up trash on the beach, is a great way to introduce them to volunteering and set an example of giving back to the community, and it will teach them how rewarding it is to help others. 

Shared by a Memorable-Treasures customer who wishes to remain anonymous. 

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