May 27, 2021 // 10:32 AM
Find Happiness in Serving
Written by Avery Stauffer
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
Oftentimes, when we have a bad day, the last thing we feel like doing is making sure that everyone else is happy. When we have a bad day we tend to shut down. Our approach to finding happiness is often displayed through new gadgets and reaching new personal successes, but maybe that’s not the best approach. A recent study suggests that instead of trying to increase our own happiness, making someone else happy can be more effective. This proved to be true since participants in the study who were tasked with making another person happy reported a greater sense of self happiness than the group who were told to either do something to pursue happiness directly for themselves or to simply socialize with others.
Here at Garden Spot Village we see the positive impact of spreading happiness in community through many different micro-communities, groups, and volunteer opportunities. Tom Peck, member of the Gospel Quartet and Voices of Praise, mentions that, “Singing for others brings you a sense of giving, it’s so much fun to sing for others since you begin to realize how much value you can bring to another person.” In Tom’s case, singing for others gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
This same idea is shown through Marsha Dawson who loves to encourage others. In fact, she is known for sending hundreds of cards every year to friends and family. “I have always loved to get personal mail so I figured there might be others out there that love it too!” says Marsha. She uses these greeting cards as a way to reach out and encourage others, especially when everyone was stuck at home because of the pandemic. She says, “The response has been amazing! I also love volunteering and helping others; I receive so much more than I can give!”
Over and over we hear volunteers say that doing something for others is so rewarding. The feeling of value, purpose, and having an impact brings more happiness than we can imagine. So next time you need a pick-me-up, instead of pursuing happiness directly for yourself, try volunteering with a new group, reaching out to a friend through a card or a phone call, or use your talents and gifts to do for others. It may just give you the feeling of happiness that you are looking for.