Those Who Serve Others
Happier, Healthier, and more Prosperous
“Research has proven that if you want to be happy, forget yourself and serve others. People who volunteer and give become happier
as a result, because the key to happiness is to labor for the happiness
of others. That acquired happiness then lowers the level of stress
hormones in our brain and contributes to a longer, healthier
life. Those who feel happy are also more productive, effective and
successful; therefore, happiness becomes the secret to success and prosperity.
“Our brains are actually wired to serve others.
When we give charitable money and service to others, our brain releases
several stress hormones which elevate our mood and cause us to feel
happy. Serving and giving help to others makes us happier, healthier,
more prosperous, and therefore greatly blessed and more successful than
“You will hear in the coming days…that
if our country were doing what it should be doing for people in need,
then we wouldn’t need private giving; that the government would be
taking care of people who need it, and that we would not need you to
step in to provide for others. I am here to tell you, having looked at
the data, that the day the government takes over for you in your private
charity is the day we get poorer, unhappier, and unhealthier. We must
demand to take our place as givers and support the communities and
people who need the services we can provide.” Arthur C. Brooks, BYU
Forum, February 24, 2009
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble…and he shall
be blessed upon the earth.” (Psalms 41:1-3)
Those Who Serve Others Are
Something miraculous happens
when we focus our energies on lifting the burdens of others—our own
burdens diminish! Service lifts us out of our own occasional
loneliness, depression, greed, selfishness and worries. While serving
others, we begin to put our own problems in perspective; and suddenly,
our own challenges seem a little smaller. We become wiser, happier, and
more aware of our own blessings.
Gratitude is one of the secrets of happiness,
because gratitude and happiness are linked together in our lives. It
has been said that, “Happiness is not having what you like, but liking
what you have.” Be grateful for what you have in life, and remember to
thank God for your many blessings, including the small ones we often
take for granted.
“In everything give thanks.” (1 Thess. 5:18)
True happiness comes only by feeling genuine concern
for those around us and helping to solve their problems. There is
little joy in having possessions we do not share with others, or
focusing all of our energy on our own cares, concerns and challenges. “Do you want to be happy?
Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to
helping people. You will come to know a happiness that you have never
known before if you will do that. “Selfless service is a wonderful antidote
to the ills that flow from the worldwide epidemic of self-indulgence.
The answer lies in helping to solve the problems of those around us
rather than worrying about our own, living to lift burdens even when we
ourselves feel weighed down.
- “People who give get happier as a result.
- Happiness is the secret to success. Charity brings happiness, and happiness brings success.
- People who volunteer are happier. You simply can’t find any kind of service that won’t make you happier.
- Studies show that when people give, it lowers their levels of stress.”
“If you want to be a productive person,
work on your happiness. Happiness is the secret to success. Charity
brings happiness, and happiness brings success. I promise you this
really works—either because of God in heaven, or because of our
neurochemistry—but it really works.” Arthur C. Brooks, BYU Forum, February 2009
One study found that donating money to charity
activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure. That good
feeling you get by writing a check to a charity helps people feel good
knowing that they are a charitable giver. Charitable donations seem to
increase activity in brain areas called the nucleus accumbens and the
caudate nucleus, according to a University of Oregon team of
psychologists and economists. (Chicago Tribune, June 2007, Brain-imaging study links charity, pleasure)
Those Who Serve Others Are
“Many other studies show that givers have better health
that givers are better citizens… Givers are healthier, happier, and
richer in this country—and probably around the world. Giving creates
stronger communities and a more prosperous nation.“There is a relationship between health and volunteering.
Those who volunteer (especially older adults) at least 2 hours a week have—
- Improved physical and mental health
- Greater functional ability
- Lower rates of despair and depression
death rates” Dr. David J. Demko, gerontologist,Corp.
for National and Community Service (May 2007) For more information,
Those Who Serve Others Are
“John D. Rockefeller,
who was once the world’s richest person, was quoted as saying, ‘God
gave me my money…I believe the power to make money is a gift from
God…to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of
Rockefeller believed that he made money because he was
charged with helping others. He honestly believed that if he stopped
giving his money in the right way, then God would take his money away.
- People who volunteer do better financially.
giving family will earn an average of $375 more in income than the
non-giving family—and that’s statistically attributable to the gift.
- Donations drive up income, and income drives up donations.
“When people see strangers giving charitably
giving is not just a great investment for you; it’s also a patriotic
act for our country because it translates into jobs, growth,
opportunity, and tax revenues.
they recognize a leadership quality in those strangers. If people
witness you as a giver, they will see a leader. Servant leadership is a
secret to success, whether you’re looking for success or not. When
people see you giving and cooperating and serving others, they will see
in you a leader, or a future leader, and they cannot help but help
you.” Arthur C. Brooks, BYU Forum
, February 24, 2009
one of the wealthiest men of his time, thought that wealthy individuals
should use their fortunes to aid society. He believed in helping
others to help themselves, chiefly by providing educational
opportunities. He donated much of his $500 million to various worthy
causes, and made the following statement:
Law of the Accumulation of Wealth
“We are to consider all surplus revenues which come to us simply as trust funds
which we are called upon to administer in the manner in which in our judgment
is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community.
Thus, a man of wealth becomes a mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren."
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
When man begins to lose his faith and trust in God,
he looks for another God, a false God, and begins to put his faith and
trust in material things which are more visible and immediately at hand.
He worships his possessions and wealth and spends his time acquiring
sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit
cards, homes, cars—all to guarantee a long and happy life. He uses up
these blessings on his own desires, and forgets
that his assignment from God is to use these many resources to help
his family and neighbors, to serve those in need, and to serve the
“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack:
but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”