Dr. Christian Smith, director of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative, led a 3 year study on generosity. After conducting a nationally representative survey of Americans’ practices and beliefs about generosity, interviewing hundreds of Americans around the country on generosity, and observing local religious congregations, they conclude:
First, the more generous Americans are, the more happiness, health, and purpose in life they enjoy. This association between generous practices and personal well-being is strong and highly consistent across a variety of kinds of generous practice and measures of well-being. Second, we have excellent reason to believe that generous practices actually cause enhanced personal well-being. The association between generosity and well-being is not accidental, spurious, or simply an artifact of reverse causal influence. Certain well-known, explicable causal mechanisms explain for us the specific ways that generous practices shape positive outcomes.
Happier, healthier, AND enjoying greater purpose? And all I have to do is be generous?
Sign me up!