One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them. --Virginia Woolf
Studies show, and personal experience confirms, that nothing gives us as much pleasure (in the true sense) as helping others.
During my days as a fundraiser I had so many happy days watching people give, and seeing what it did for them. I would take people through the shelter, and they would absorb the difficult, even harsh circumstances, of the residents.
They would often tell me about hard and sad times in their own lives - a way of being empathic, sharing feelings. No one escapes ...
Then they would rally. Their eyes would light up. One woman decided to donate a beautiful water fountain, as ours was old and grungy. Another lady decided to donate great art posters for the walls. A wealthy lawyer wrote out a check for $100,000 "for whatever you need." A society matron decided to provide birthday parties for all the residents on their day. A young high school student said he wanted to come down and do some carpentry work.
There are so many ways to help and they always make us feel good.
What prompted me to write this was the story of Taj Chahal, a multi-millionaire, who this year, for his 29th birthday, decided to forego flying his friends all over the world for lavish bashes, and instead hosted a surprise party for 300 at Martha's Kitchen, a San Jose charity that serves meals to the homeless and working poor.
Why did he do this? He is quoted as saying:
"If you are blessed to have the things that you have, then you should share them with others," said Chahal.