Giving to Others
We often look for happiness in the wrong places. We’re preoccupied with looking inside ourselves to find happiness with psychotherapy, meditation, and self-help books to uncover our internal obstacles to happiness. Or people look for happiness outside of themselves in the form of consumerism, drug and alcohol use, and other forms of gratification. But happiness can’t be found down either of those roads.
Your children will ultimately find happiness outside of themselves, by giving of themselves to others. There is something profoundly nourishing about putting others’ needs ahead of our own and helping others find happiness. Giving to others somehow touches us in a very deep way and provides a feeling of meaning, satisfaction, and joy that can’t be found elsewhere. In putting their own needs aside to help others, children’s own deepest needs are met.
About the Author:
Jim Taylor, PhD, is the author of eight books including his latest, Your Children are Under Attack: How Popular Culture is Destroying Your Kids’ Values, and How You Can Protect Them (Sourcebooks, March 2005), from which this article is adopted, and Positive Pushing: How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child (Hyperion, 2003). He has worked with young people, parents, and educators for 20 years. He has been a consultant and frequent speaker to numerous elementary and secondary schools, youth-sports programs, and performing-arts organizations around the country. Dr. Taylor has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Fox New Channel’s Fox & Friends, UPN’s Life & Style, ABC's World News This Weekend, and major television network affiliates, and has participated in many radio shows and national print publications. Sign up for Dr. Taylor's free quarterly newsletter, Kids & Culture Alert at www.drjimtaylor.com.