Money can buy happiness. I know that’s not the usual line you hear, but stay with me here.
Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School, gave this TED talk about how money can buy us happiness. Basically, it’s this.
Use your money to give.
Giving is good. It’s proven that people who give or help others are happier in themselves. Yes I know there IS a certain excitement associated with opening those pretty parcels under the tree, but that’s just a short-lived pleasure associated with “things”. Nice things, to be sure, but in the scheme of life, not what warms the cockles of our hearts.
Why else would that whole random-act-of-kindness thing have taken off? Yeah the social media kudos could account for a few of those, but it’s easy to underestimate the satisfaction and happy state of being that serving others can give.
In our family, it’s common for the person who is impossible to buy for to receive cards that provide a goat for a family or a well for a village in places where life is somewhat harder than it is for us.
This month our family began sponsoring a child in Kenya. A grass roots group called Rafiki Mwema has created a therapeutic safe house for abused children Nakuru, where children rescued from horrific situations are healed, protected and loved. I had thought about sponsoring for years and was finally moved to do it after reading stories of what these kids endured. They endure too much.
An incredible couple have just donated a house and farm to Rafiki Mwema, to give these kids a permanent home. And we can add to that that generosity of spirit by buying Christmas donation cards that supply them with practical things like chickens, cows, bedding and shoes, as well as fun things like colouring books and playground equipment.
So give and be happy.