For those who’ve been paying attention I promised a post on being buried alive, well I’m going to be a tease and make you wait for that one. At the moment I’m doing some research on the health benefits of generosity for an article I’m writing, and I’m very impressed with the amount of research that’s been done in this area. It’s research that seems to be mostly ignored by the current powers that be, the idea that giving to others could actually benefit the giver, is a concept that doesn’t quite compute in a reality of total world domination!
But its true! If you give to others you will live longer, have a stronger immune system, be less likely to suffer depression or heart disease, if you are in chronic pain it will be decreased. The effects are much more heightened if you actually have direct contact with the people you are giving to. People who volunteer are generally much happier, positive emotions stimulate the release of endorphins, dilating the blood vessels, and what that does is produce a relaxed heart.
Imagine a world full of people with relaxed hearts, all giving to each other and being kind to themselves, hard to imagine someone with a relaxed heart being into self-flagellation! The answers to creating a better world always end up being so simple, only an extremely stupid race of beings could overlook such basic information. Of course indigenous people the world over have understood this for eons, it can be found in spiritual texts thousands of years old, so one shouldn’t be throwing the bath water out with the baby.
There is hope for humanity, just don’t look for it in our ruling bodies for the most part, they still tend to support the economic theory that places self-interest as the guiding principle of human motivation. In 1972 the King of Bhutan coined the term Gross National Happiness and a sophisticated survey instrument was developed to measure the general well-being of the population. How would it be if all governments measured their success in governing by how happy their constituents were!
This is not a pipe dream, we can create the world that we would like to live in, as Margaret Mead said: